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Midaq Alley (1995)
"El Callejón de los Milagros" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  6 March 1998 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,965 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 6 critic

Based on the Nobel Prize Winner's novel, the Egyptian Naguib Mahfouz. The story, translated from El Cairo to Mexico City's downtown, narrates the life of the members of the neighbourhood ... See full summary »

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Title: Midaq Alley (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernesto Gómez Cruz ...
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Delia Casanova ...
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Claudio Obregón ...
Juan Manuel Bernal ...
Abel Woolrich ...
Luis Felipe Tovar ...
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Gina Morett ...
Óscar Yoldi ...
Esteban Soberanes ...
Eugenia Leñero ...
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Storyline

Based on the Nobel Prize Winner's novel, the Egyptian Naguib Mahfouz. The story, translated from El Cairo to Mexico City's downtown, narrates the life of the members of the neighbourhood and the connection between them Don Ru, the owner of the local pub; Eusebia, his wife; Chava, his son and Abel his friend, who emigrate to USA in search of fortune; Susanita, the single landtender always dreaming to marry a good man; Guicho, the pub's employee, who extracts the money when Don Ru is not there and finally marries Susanita; Alma, the very good looking girl, the Abel's dream, who becomes a luxury prostitute while he's away; Jimmy, the handsome young man Don Ru becomes infatuated with, etc. This movie won the Ariel (the Mexican Oscar) as best movie in 1995. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

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THE MOST AWARDED FILM IN MEXICAN HISTORY (49 International Awards)

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Drama

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6 March 1998 (USA)  »

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Midaq Alley  »

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Featured in Who the Hell Is Juliette? (1997) See more »

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Antojos
Written by Lucía Álvarez
Performed by Lucía Álvarez & Band
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User Reviews

 
no Mexican melodrama
8 August 1999 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

A film of surprising depth and frankness, this is no Mexican soap opera. The film is told in chapters, one about each major character. They all come from the same neighborhood and their lives intertwine. For the most part the stories wind up in disappointment, with few moments of sweetness, and some real tragedies. It's not quite a slice of life, but compares very favorably to the similar American film Short Cuts by Robert Altman. Without going into too much detail, it follows a late mid-life 'crisis' of a bar owner named Rutilio who finally allows his inner yearnings to surface, almost at the cost of his family. The second chapter follows Alma (Salma Hayek, the only recognizable name from the cast) as a lovely ghetto girl who is torn by the absence of her fiance who is in America and the desires, needs and temptations of being young, lovely, and inexperienced. The third chapter is about Susanna, the local landlord, middle-aged, homely, and never-been-loved and the trials she puts herself through after a fateful tarot-card reading predicting the imminent appearance of a man in her life. The last chapter, the Return, ties all the strings together as best they can be, because this is life and the strings simply don't tie together that well.

I didn't expect a Mexican film of this frankness - not just sex, but characters having real conversations, smoking grass, getting mixed up in an underworld with a sheen of decency and the expected rotten core - all rotating around the table in the neighborhood bar where the men play dominoes. These comments may not have convinced you to see this movie, but if you did see and liked Short Cuts then I highly recommend this film. And if Short Cuts is gobbledegook to you then I recommend both. Nine out of Ten.


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