Alba Rohrwacher wears Vionnet gown, $7,750, Beauty note: For a complexion that goes beyond the pale, try Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector.

Photograph by Driu & Tiago; styled by Tanya Jones.

The 36-year-old actress and style icon is famous in Italy, where the media studiously chart her outfits and hairstyles. Now Alba Rohrwacher, along with her younger sister, Alice, a filmmaker, is putting the family name on a bigger map. In the past year, Alba— who may be best known in the U.S. for her performance as Tilda Swinton’s daughter (the resemblance!) in 2009’s I Am Love—won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival for her chilling turn opposite Adam Driver in Saverio Costanzo’s domestic thriller Hungry Hearts. Meanwhile, Alice’s The Wonders, in which Alba stars, was a runner-up for best film at the Cannes Film Festival. In Hungry Hearts, to be released Stateside this year, Alba plays a mother with the best intentions who soon breaks bad, endangering her child; by contrast, in The Wonders, she says, she is “the archetype—a mother who is like graceful, peaceful love.”

Rohrwacher, whose English is charmed with a foreigner’s accidental poetry, was born to a German father and an Italian mother in Fiesole, outside Florence, but was raised in the Umbrian countryside—just like the big family depicted in The Wonders, who live, as the Rohrwachers did, on a beekeeping farm. “There was nothing there,” Rohrwacher recalls. “The movies were the most faraway thing—like the moon, you know? But my sister and I still arrived there in the end.”