In 1931, a young soldier (Fernando) deserts from the army and falls into a country farm, where he is welcomed by the owner (Manolo) due to his political ideas. Manolo has four daughters (... See full summary »
Fernando Fernán Gómez,
Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle; she's a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor, a foster mom to children of other prostitutes. Momo is the oldest and... See full summary »
St. Vincent de Paul struggles to bring about peace and harmony among the peasant and the nobles in the midst of the Black Death in Europe, carrying on his charitable work in the face of all... See full summary »
French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors. Deciding that they must do their proper duty and fight the Germans, they ... See full summary »
Private detective Germán Areta gets a terminally ill client who wishes to see his long lost, runaway daughter before he dies. But when Areta starts looking into case, that leads him to the ... See full summary »
José Luis Garci
The Swedish 19th century engineer S. A. Andrée sets out to become the first man on the north pole. His idea is to launch a polar expedition using a hydrogen balloon, together with two ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow,
Sverre Anker Ousdal,
Antonio Albajara is a successful poet and teacher in the Berkeley University that returns to Gijón (Principality of Asturias, north to Spain). He travels there looking for everything that he left behind in his youth when he turned a well-known poet and writer in Mexico and USA, winning the Nobel prize with time. In Gijón he meets again with his past in Roxiu, an old friend (both played in the Sporting of Gijón's soccer team years ago) and Elena, his great-love of past times. Through his memory, his friends and Elena, Antonio starts an unforgettable journey by everyone. Written by
...almost invariably do a miserable job picking the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar? This is exhibit "A", front and center. A man finally returns from Spain from decades of self-exile during the Franco years, and reunites with an old flame. Could have been good in the hands of a Mike Leigh, but with this script and director it was a snoozefest. Almost nothing happens. For some reason, "Das Boot," which had more drama in any given two minutes of its running time than "Volver a empezar" in its entirety, couldn't be nominated and then selected. Huh?
Oscar did it again this year (2005), when it again picked a dull Spanish movie few will ever see out of the best pool I can remember, with "Der Undergang" (Downfall), "Un long dimanche de fiançailles" (A Very Long Engagement), and "Shi mian mai fu" ("House of Flying Daggers). No, I do *not* need to see war explosions or airborne cutlery in all my foreign movies, but com'n, how elitist can you get?
Note that "Volver a empezar" is not readily available on VHS or DVD. The marketplace knew better than Oscar. And if you do find it be warned that, yes, it will kill any enjoyment you have of "Pachelbel's Canon."
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