The movie tells the story of a family of commediants that work in the towns of Spain during the 40's and 50's. Life gets very taugh for them since they cannot compete any longer with the ... See full summary »
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,
Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into... See full summary »
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the nun Maria is forced to flee her convent. She takes refuge in a brothel, until it is liberated by a woman's anarchist group. Maria joins the ... See full summary »
Paquita and her brother Venancio, both single and childish, live in a small town near Madrid. Their bossy eldest sister Ignacia, also an old maid, dominates them. One night, Paquita hears ... See full summary »
Fernando Fernán Gómez
Escaping gangsters trying to kill her because of being witness to a crime, Gloria (Victoria Abril), a young woman of lower class, comes back to Madrid, Spain and to her family. There she ... See full summary »
Agustín Díaz Yanes
A delightful, endearing, and fun film which is also intriguing and thought-provoking, like the terrific short novel on which it is based. Not surprisingly, the film was nominated for 14 Goyas Spain's equivalent of the Oscars and won eight.
The star-studded cast reads almost like a Who's Who of Spanish filmmaking in the early 1990s, featuring enshrined greats like Fernando Fernán Gómez and Juan Diego alongside then-youthful favorites like Gabino Diego and Javier Gurruchaga.
I would highlight that the excellent Portuguese actor Joaquim de Almeida, for many years now a regular in Hollywood as well as Europe, delivers an absolutely delicious performance as the Jesuit priest Almeida (no, no relation!). The intellectual Jesuits have always been suspect to the more conservative establishment in the Catholic Church, and Almeida plays the role with such subtle ambiguousness an ambiguity that is absolutely key to developing the more complex elements of the film's plot that long after the credits have rolled you will still be wondering about and arguing over his place in the story.
The film is also very well shot and expertly set, creating a suggestive yet realistic ambiance that is up to the level of the plot and the acting.
In perhaps his best role ever, Gabino Diego is the young Felipe IV, the homely Habsburg monarch to whom he bears a surprising resemblance. Felipe is dumbstruck by the brief sight of a naked prostitute the Court favorite because of her exquisite beauty which suddenly leads him to realize that he has never seen the Queen, his own lovely wife, in the buff. Why? Because although ribaldry and bawdiness were the norm for the commoners of 17th-Century Spain, the nobility and royals only had sex for procreation's sake at least with their spouses with floor-length nightgowns tailored with a conveniently located opening at the level of the pelvis to avoid the sins of concupiscence. Something that Felipe's equally young Bourbon Queen finds hard to understand, but she acquiesces to the customs of these oddly pious and dour Spaniards. Surrounded as he is by very conservative priests who constantly protect (and isolate) him as one of the visible heads of the Church in Spain, the naive King needs more than a little help to arrange a romantic tryst alone with the Queen, without the overbearing and antilibidinous presence of their omnipresent escorts and attendants. It is this entertaining and intriguing "foreplay" that is the backbone of the film.
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