2001: men without jobs, in the port city of Vigo. Six men worked in a shipyard, now shuttered. They pass the time at La Naval, a bar opened by one of them after the yard closed. They face their futures in makeshift ways: Rico has his bar and a sharp 15-year-old daughter, Reina has become a watchman and a moralizer, Lino fills out job applications, Amador drinks heavily and talks of his wife's return; José is married to Ana, who works at a cannery and tires of being the breadwinner amidst José's emasculated moodiness; Santa, the group's conscience and troublemaker, occasionally fantasizes about Australia. In truth, all are joined like Siamese twins, adrift. Written by
The Spanish ensemble film Los lunes al sol / Mondays in the Sun deals with a group of former workers who lost their jobs after the factory had to close. Every day they meet in a pub, worrying about future, money and problems in the family.
The film has great actors and the director does a terrific job in leading their performances in the most effective way. De Aranoa seems to have a perfect sense for timing, manifested in an inconspicuous but efficient cut. The well pointed, rough and bare dialogues come along as a subtle social criticism. De Aranoa surely can rely on his affectionate, wonderful figuration of the truly believable characters, and the shining, utterly charismatic Javier Bardem proves in here again that he is the doubtlessly best Spanish actor today.
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