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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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8 wins & 7 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>

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Plot Keywords:

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

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Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

Istituto Luce

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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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User Reviews

 
A quiet, subtle and effecting film
28 April 2012 | by See all my reviews

At the turn of the 20th century, a wealthy doctor who specializes in mental health has a child with a wife who goes into a post-partum depression, and can't feed their newborn son. So he hires a wet nurse, an illiterate, but emotionally intelligent poor woman, who agrees to leave her own son, fathered by her lover, a communist now in jail, to care for the doctor's boy. What ensues is a subtle study of how the addition of this woman to the household changes all the dynamics; parental, sexual, emotional. Intense, but more understated and less theatrical than most of Bellocchio's films, this felt a lot like Bergman to me, with many quiet scenes relying on close-ups and studying the small changes on human faces that often mean so much. Driven by excellent performances this is a quietly haunting film.


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