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A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.
Juan José Campanella
At age 42, Rafael Belvedere is having a crisis. He lives in the shadow of his father, he feels guilty about rarely visiting his aging mother, his ex-wife says he doesn't spend enough time with their daughter and he has yet to make a commitment to his girlfriend. At his lowest point, a minor heart attack reunites him with Juan Carlos, a childhood friend, who helps Rafael to reconstruct his past and look at the present in new ways. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Rafael Belvedere (Ricardo Darín) runs a restaurant started by his parents, Nino (Héctor Alterio) and Norma (Norma Aleandro). While he has made it a success, a corporate buyer who wants to buy the restaurant observes that the extreme effort required to keep all of the plates spinning is like running a marathon. He is divorced and, with the constant cell phone calls and sleepless nights, doesn't seem to have much time for his daughter or girlfriend, although he seems to have genuine affection for both. He hasn't visited his mother Norma, who is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's, in a year. As the previews and the title reveal, his father Nino decides that what he wants most of all is to give Norma the church wedding she always wanted, although many wonder if she would even notice due to her mental state.
The wedding and other story turns which I won't give away help the film turn gracefully from mostly a comedy in the early going into an outstanding drama in the later parts of the film. The performances are excellent by all of the actors, helping to make all of the characters seem real. While the photography is often attractive, I would not be surprised if the film was shot on 16 mm film or even high definition video and transferred to 35 mm film for exhibition.
This film was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film, which should have given it a higher profile than it seems to have gotten. It is highly recommended, and should not lose too much seen on home video, assuming it eventually shows up there.
Note that the star, Ricardo Darín, also stars in "Nine Queens," which is opening very soon in the United States.
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