A superb Italian drama from debut director Paolo Licata, this movie may be slow-paced, but this only adds to its intensity. Beautifully filmed, with a languid, dreamlike quality that often serves to release Lucia from the gritty realities of day-to-day life, the rugged Sicilian coastline is at once a symbol of wildness and adventure, and danger and isolation. Female repression is a strong theme, a mixture of untold sexual violence and stigmatization lurking beneath the surface as the women of the story go about their lives, each battling with their own secrets and lies.
Sardo is a force to be reckoned with as Nonna Maria, her anger at the world barely contained from one scene to the next. Her pride and determination is reflected in Lucia's strong temperament, causing the two to frequently lock horns. An ominous atmosphere penetrates every scene, from the innocent playing of children to the silence at mealtimes, making Lucia's trusting step across the threshold into darkness an evident tragedy before it has even occurred. Still, captivating, and heartbreaking, yet with moments of warmth, energy, and release, Alone with Her Dreams is a stunning coming-of-age story that will linger long after the final scene fades.