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In a town near Salamanca, an eccentric widower, aged 60, is captivated by an imp, a precocious 13 year old. Alejandro is wealthy and alone, passing time with music, chess, and his shotgun. Gregoria (Goyita) the daughter of a weak-willed policeman and his bullying wife, is a budding naturalist who conspires to meet Alejandro. Even though he knows the village is talking, Alejandro spends time with Goyita, on walks, horseback rides, and dinners. He's enchanted and tells his friend the village priest that he's living for the first time. Goyita makes new demands on Alejandro, and he must decide how to be true to his ethics and to this Platonic yet highly-charged relationship. Written by
A recent new viewing of this film has awakened some old memories, which, fortunately, have not changed so much over the years. Vaguely, half remembered through the mists of time, a film seen year ago showed a middle-aged man arriving home in the rain, getting up the stairs to his rented room, putting a long-playing record on his player, and, picking up a little stick, began conducting the music he had just purchased. Therein I identified myself most ardently; some people - most - dance to music or tap their feet; I do not: I have to get up there like a younger version of Karajan or Beecham and with a little stick in my left hand I keep control over my orchestra - two large loudspeakers usually hidden behind sprays of flowers.
Someone could have given a little musical training to Héctor Alterio for this film so as to lend even more to the well-known Haydn aria; however, the result is acceptable; both he and Agustín González carry out their parts well enough; but both are over-shadowed by the natural expertise of María Luisa Ponte, and the very mature playing of the then twelve-year-old Ana Torrent.
Nicely filmed - with Teo Escamilla things could hardly have been otherwise - in the villages at the feet of the Sierra de Francia, in the province of Salamanca, with a few scenes from the province of Segovia, the story relates the rather charming relationship built up between the young girl and the old widower. This is no Spanish version of `Lolita', nor anything like it, not by a long way. Armiñán's telling of the story is far wiser than to fall into such unsubtle obvieties. The fresh viewing of this film also helped to fill in for me the progress made by Señorita Ana Torrent, as in the last few months I have been able to see some of her most representative rôles, such as in Medem's `Vacas' (qv), Amenábar's Tesis (qv), and Laguna's `Juego de Luna' (qv).
The result is evidently an actress of very varied possibilities as she enacts her different characters with considerable naturalness, ease and intelligence. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in this film `El Nido'.
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