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Agustín Díaz Yanes
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
Unfortunately rather overlooked as this film came out the same year as Almodóvar's 'Todo Sobre mi Madre' which went on to reach fame and glory. However, if you liked Almodóvar's excellent drama you will also like 'Solas'. The two films have certain similarities inasmuch that also in 'Solas' the accent is very much on strong characterisation, profound human feelings, though perhaps a little less intense here than in Almodóvar's film.
Ana Fernández is magnificent, playing just right the rather confused, unlucky thirty-five year old young woman a bit given to alcohol, not overplaying her part; María Galiana as her mother shows even at her age that she has come from good theatre, as no less does Carlos Álvarez-Novoa as the lonely neighbour. Benito Zembrano - as Almodóvar - , not only directs his film but is also responsible for the script, which is truly magnificent, especially taking into account certain Andalucian styles of speech. The Andalucian accent may at times cause a bit of a problem if you know Spanish a fair amount and watch this film without any subtitles. Try it, anyway: it is well worth the effort.
An excellent piece of drama which certainly deserves more recognition than it has got. Curiously both films end with a remarkably similar dedication at the end: 'A mi madre; a todas las madres' - To my mother; To all mothers.
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