Watch at Home 03.22.2024

Lovely Rita

Directed by Jessica Hausner
Film Movement
79 Minutes
Austria, Germany
German, English

Feeling confined by her well-mannered suburban environment, the pubescent Rita gradually attempts to test and break the expectations made of her. As she skips class to pursue her infatuation for a local bus driver as well as her own desires, her disapproving parents and classmates begin to question the motivation behind her provocations. However, Rita’s adolescent rebellions occlude a more sinister intention.

“A deliciously observed, ironic take on middle-class Austrian life,” (Variety) Jessica Hausner’s debut feature establishes her thematic interest in societal assimilation with a singular portrait of teenage recalcitrance. Newly restored in 4k and available for the first time in North America, LOVELY RITA remains just as shocking as it was during its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Jessica Hausner
  • Starring: Barbara Osika
  • Starring: Christoph Bauer
  • Starring: Peter Fiala
  • Starring: Wolfgang Kostal
  • Starring: Karina Brandmlmayer




  • "A deliciously observed, ironic take on middle-class Austrian life through an introverted teen’s eyes...."
    Derek Elley, Variety
  • "[A] well-judged and sensitive portrayal of a pressured, superficial upbringing. [T]his is a movie that will find much identification with anyone whose teenage years were remotely angst ridden, with Hausner capturing the simmering tensions of suburban life with assured ease."
    Danny Graydon,
  • "Hausner makes a highly impressive feature debut with this tragi-comic portrait of a withdrawn teenager. [I]t signals Hausner as a director with a very distinctive vision and major-league potential."
    Sheila Johnston, Screen Daily
  • "[The film has] a cheerfully subversive sense of humor."
    Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "The feature debut of young Austrian director Jessica Hausner, Lovely Rita is a coolly assured and darkly amusing exploration of adolescent loneliness. Its knack for veering into tragedy without descending into histrionics has even drawn comparisons with the work of Michael Haneke."
    Total Film
  • "Osika is perfect as Rita, half-child, half-woman, but then Hausner's cool, compassionate, naturalistic script, reminiscent of early Fassbinder, gives her plenty to play with."
    Brian Montgomery,