Plot & Details
A small-town misfit struggles against the world around her in this comedy-drama from Austria. Rita (Barbara Osika) is a teenager growing up in a small town in Austria, where she doesn't seem to fit in -- and, by all appearances, doesn't want to. Rita doesn't care for her schoolmates, has a knack for getting into trouble, skips class as often as she can get away with it, and her mother (Karina Brandlmayer) and father (Wolfgang Kostal) have just about given up on trying to get her to change her ways. One of Rita's few friends is Fexi (Christoph Bauer), a schoolboy several years her junior who likes to sneak out to the woods with her for cigarettes and conversation. Despite her lack of lack of enthusiasm for most of the boys at her school, Rita has developed an intense curiosity about sex, and she tries to persuade Fexi to help her lose her virginity, but he's too young to take her up on the offer. Rita instead offers herself to a bus driver (Peter Fiala), though his indifferent lovemaking leaves her no more content with life than she was before, and Rita decides to run away from home, taking Fexi with her -- a decision that proves to have dire consequences. Lovely Rita was the first feature film from writer and director Jessica Hausner; it was screened as part of the Un Certain Regard series at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.