6.7/10
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The Nanny (1999)

La balia (original title)
Rome, early 20th century: a wealthy psychiatrist, who runs an asylum for women and lacks imagination in his practice, must find a wet nurse for his infant when his wife panics after ... See full summary »

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(novel), (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Prof. Mori
...
Vittoria Mori
...
Annetta
Jacqueline Lustig ...
Maddalena
...
Nardi
Gisella Burinato
Elda Alvigini ...
Lena
Eleonora Danco ...
Patient
Fabio Camilli ...
Broker
...
Belli Estate Patient
Alessandra Bacialupi
Letizia Bellocchio
Maria Luisa Bellocchio
Anna Maria Calvelli
Francesca Calvelli
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Storyline

Rome, early 20th century: a wealthy psychiatrist, who runs an asylum for women and lacks imagination in his practice, must find a wet nurse for his infant when his wife panics after childbirth. He brings a peasant, Annette, to Rome, forcing her to leave her own baby behind. To the consternation and increasing anger of the wife, the nanny immediately bonds with the couple's infant son - Annette's a natural. Against a backdrop of leftist demonstrations, Annette, who's lover is a teacher jailed for subversion, asks the doctor to teach her to read and write. Her nature and curiosity, the doctor's bland ideas, he and his wife's problems, and the two infants bring the story to a head. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wet nurse | nanny | based on novel | See All (3) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

21 May 1999 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

La balia  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Edited into Sorelle (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A beautiful, melancholy movie not quite like realistic Italian style
28 May 2000 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie in a EU film festival in Vancouver last year and was deeply moved. Quite unlike most other realistic Italian films, the film is a a "sober, unerringly controlled psychological drama about motherhood and mental frailty" (David Rooney, Variety). A Roman psychiatrist hires an illiterate country girl to serve as a wet nurse for his newborn child when his wife is unable to breast feed (or love) it. The maternal theme (and frequent nursing scenes) contribute welcome warmth to the director's customary rich visual style, while the plot points the wet-nurse has a jailed political activist husband and a small child of her own whom she must temporarily forsake in order to earn a living. It is an elegant film with slow rhythms, poetic psychoanalytical discourse and warm motif of maternity, loyalty, love and understanding. Beautiful and compassionate Italian masterpiece in the 1990's!


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