CINEMA: Small Wonder

From Argentina, a poignant, often funny family fable

Perhaps we are all blind to the limitations of those we love. Dona Leonor (Luisina Brando), a proud widow in a South American town in the '30s, certainly loves her daughter Charlotte (Alejandra Podesta). She is beguiled by Charlotte's grace, her easy imperiousness, her ease with languages, her virtuosity at the piano. And she refuses to accept what is evident to all: that Charlotte, now on the cusp of womanhood, is a dwarf. The townspeople pretend to ignore it. But one fellow, the aging stranger Ludovico D'Andrea (Marcello Mastroianni), sees Charlotte's disability as a sweet eccentricity, like a birthmark or an...

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