La Sapienza

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Reviews Counted: 23

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Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

Named for the famous seventeenth-century Roman church Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, which was designed by the legendary architect (and Bernini rival) Francesco Borromini, LA SAPIENZA echoes Rossellini's Viaggio in Italia in its tale of Alexandre Schmid (Fabrizio Rongione), a brilliant architect who, plagued by doubts and loss of inspiration, embarks on a quest of artistic and spiritual renewal guided by his study of Borromini. His wife Aliénor (Christelle Prot), similarly troubled by the crassness of contemporary society - as well as the couple's lack of communication and passion - decides to accompany him. In Stresa, a chance encounter with adolescent siblings Goffredo (who is about to commence his own architectural studies) and his fragile sister Lavinia upends the couple's plans. As Borromini's spirit and the vertiginous splendour of his structures spin a mysterious web among them, within the course of a few days the foursome experiences a series of life-altering revelations. (C) KIno

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News & Interviews for La Sapienza

Critic Reviews for La Sapienza

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (12)

On the surface, writer-director Eugène Green's film "La Sapienza" is slow, strange and awkward - but stick with it and it may win you over.

Jun 26, 2015 | Full Review…

The Sapience juxtaposes insights on how people are emotionally connected with ruminations on the buildings and spaces through which they move, in which they live and, in Alexandre's case, which they also create.

Jun 5, 2015 | Full Review…

A beautiful space for people and light.

Jun 4, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This kind of formalism needs to do more than walk through classical wonders. It should want to create cinema that can stand near or beside them. This movie defensively consecrates what's already there. You don't need a film to do that.

Apr 9, 2015 | Full Review…

An exquisite rumination on life, love and art that tickles the heart and mind in equal measure.

Apr 8, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Green's richly textured, painterly images fuse with the story to evoke the essence of humane urbanity and the relationships that it fosters, whether educational, familial, or erotic.

Mar 23, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La Sapienza


Moving at a leaden pace, over-intellectualized and stiff in style, La Sapienza recoils from the compelling story at its core--husband and wife each meet an unlikely younger friend and maybe refresh their own relationship as a result--and it strangles the life out of the character relationships, moving at a leaden pace for the first hour until it finally suggests a reason for this. I'm not against slow, considered films (I quite liked Museum Hours, for example), but this one didn't do it for me.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Despite any number of professional accolades, Alexandre(Fabrizio Rongione), an architect, finds his marriage with Alienor(Christelle Prot Landman) in rocky shape. So, they travel to a lake in Switzerland to spend some quality time together, trying to recapture some of the old magic. What they find instead is siblings Goffredo(Ludovico Succio) and Lavinia(Arianna Nastro). And then Alienor surprises her husband by volunteering to stay in town to look after the ailing Lavinia while Goffredo continues his architecture studies in Turin with Alexandre. "La Sapienza" gets off to a rough start, as the movie assumes that Alexandre's sour mood is solely from his atheism, not something less existential, like say, severe constipation. Thankfully, the movie eventually recovers, allowing for an occasionally heady exploration of art, history, architecture, romance and most importantly sideburns. At the same time, the tone tends towards the deep end of the pretentiousness spectrum, sometimes unnecessarily so. And I'm still not exactly sure what this whole sapience thing was about but then I guess that's what Google is for.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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