Dir: Bettina Oberli | Cast: Agnieszka Grochowska, Marthe Keller, Andre Jung, Birgit Minichmayr | Switzerland, drama 111′
Winner of awards at Tribeca and Vancouver, My Wonderful Wanda is a deliciously amusing satire that sees a wealthy Swiss family get more than they bargained for when a Polish au pair joins the family.
Reworking similar themes as Parasite this European ‘upstairs downstairs’ affair is nearer to home and much closer to the bone than its South Korean counterpart, set in a gorgeous lakeside villa in Switzerland where the head of the Wegmeister-Gloor family, successful industrialist Josef (an affable André Jung) is now wheelchair bound and needing 24-hour care after suffering a stroke.
Wanda (Agnieszka Grochowska), in her mid thirties, comes to the rescue leaving her own small children at home in Poland, managing the tricky dynamics of this privileged set-up while also being at the beck and call of Josef who seems to want more than just medical care. All families are complicated and this one is no different, even the adults are spoilt kids. Oberli and her writer Cooky Ziesche contrive a plot that is convoluted yet bang on the nail and extremely well-conceived – without putting too fine a point on it.
A brilliant Marthe Keller is the graceful matriarch who brings much needed perspective with her worldly experience and love for all the family – including Wanda (an appealing Grochowska) who is very much valued and far more influential than she at first imagined. Oberli brings warmth and humanity to this perceptive dark comedy that always looks on the bright side of modern life. MT
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