I’ve unearthed another Italian film that Amazon’s been hiding.
Lost Kisses, directed by Roberta Torre, is the fun and creative story of 13-year-old Manuela (Carla Marchese) who talks to the Madonna in her sleep. Or maybe she doesn’t.
Whether she’s making it all up or there is something spiritual going on, the people in her dismal neighborhood in Catania, Sicily, have been waiting and praying (and willing to pay) for someone like her to come along. When one of Manuela’s dreams helps the town restore a broken statue of the virgin mother, so many people start knocking on the family’s door looking for divine intervention from Manuela that Manuela’s mother, Rita (Finocchiaro) posts the hours of operation on their front door.
Rita is enjoying the donations and Manuela is going along with it, for reasons that remain unclear to me, even when they burn her typical teenager clothes and dress her up like a kind of modern nun. As Manuela listens to her visitors’ requests for help (for more money, for a husband to disappear, for a chance to be on Italy’s Big Brother program), she doesn’t strike me as the kind of girl who is just so used to doing what she’s told that she can’t say “no” to her mother. Finocchiaro as the “not exactly mother-of-the-year” Rita is manic and hilarious and Carla Marchese is talented beyond her years as Manuela.