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 »
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 »
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,
Victor is a man who gets to Paris to join his family around their seriously ill father, Max. As the chance of selling the family business begins to disrupt the family relationships, Victor ... See full summary »
Fernando Fernán Gómez,
Based on a novel by Lorenzo Silva, this movie deals with the unusual and tragic relationship between a frustrated businessman and a 14-year-old student. After crashing into the rear of the ... See full summary »
Javi and his friend Carlos snoop around an old house on the way home from school. According to his brother Juan this is a haunted house and one can hear the voices of the dead. Later he is ... See full summary »
For Moncho, it's an idyllic year: he starts school, he has a wonderful teacher, he makes a friend in Roque, he begins to figure out some of the mysteries of Eros, and, with his older ... See full summary »
José Luis Cuerda
Fernando Fernán Gómez,
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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