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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
What a discovery. A Spanish variation of Kubrick's classic Lolita, with a magnificent performance by a young actress named Ana Torrent as Goyita, a student in small town Spain who becomes the obsession of an older man, a theme common in both literature and cinema.
El Nido is subtler than the Nabokov adaptation from 1962 with Sue Lyon. Humbert(James Mason) is a despicable creep with no redeeming values, whereas the love-struck subject this time Don Alejandro(Hector Alterio) is eccentric, likable and completely under the spell of Goyita.
Torrent is perfectly cast as a manipulative girl, wise beyond her years, and very convincing as a determined, precocious senorita. There is never a false note; Goyita always feels real.
G(Goyita) posts cryptic notes on to trees for Alejandro to find. The game starts out as a treasure hunt and results in the ensuing relationship between the two. It always remains unpredictable and never becomes judgmental of either protagonist.
I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of emotion within the story and the great acting. I would rate this film a solid 8.
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