Maria, whose parents live in the country, cannot stand her father's authoritarian ways and moves to the city. She finds a job as a cleaner and tries to survive in a wretched apartment in ... See full summary »
El Bola, a 12 year old boy a.k.a. "Pellet" is a 12 year old boy raised in a violent and sordid environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he avoids becoming close to classmates. The ... See full summary »
Juan José Ballesta,
Marina, a woman with a glass eye, has the bad luck to be the victim of an assault witnessed by Rafael, a goodhearted butcher, who rescues her from her attacker, a man named Daniel. Rafael ... See full summary »
19-year-old Argentina Martin has a nearly fatal drug overdose. After that his mother sends him to Madrid, where his film director father (also called Martin) lives with his new much younger... See full summary »
Juan Diego Botto,
Maria, whose parents live in the country, cannot stand her father's authoritarian ways and moves to the city. She finds a job as a cleaner and tries to survive in a wretched apartment in the shabby part of a big city. She is pregnant, and the fact that her boyfriend has abandoned her does not help matters. When her father goes to the hospital for an operation, her mother comes to stay with her. Her neighbor, an old recluse whose only friend is his dog, begins to come out of his shell and these three lost souls try to give each other the strength to start over. Written by
Many thanks to Benito Zambrano for this beautiful delineation of human dilemmas humanely faced. Maria Galiana, as an elderly Spanish woman caught in the trap of a very bad marriage, but able to maintain her generosity and ability to love, is superb and inspiring. Her grown daughter, played with passion by Ana Fernandez, is more sophisticated and bitter. She has allowed herself to be used by a man, not unlike her unfeeling father, and her protrayal makes us sympathize with her, particularly when she finds she's pregnant and the man refuses to help her. And then there is the daughter's neighbor, played by Carlos Alvarez-Novia...a lonely old man with only his amazing dog for companionship. How he and the mother establish a tender, but "proper" relationship is a piece of rare and subtle film-making. I see no similarity between Zambrano's movie and the work of Mike Leigh (who apparently inspired him). Real people, yes, but the values demonstrated by Zambrano far surpass, in my estimation, those of Mike Leigh. My highest recommendation to anyone interested in a film that has soul, without sentimentality or grossness.
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