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Álex de la Iglesia
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
A sensitive and compelling movie, wonderfully acted and pictured
It is really a pity that such a wonderful, compelling and important film, isn't able to get through to a bigger audience. But however.
"Los lunes al sol" is very calm and slow but all the more empathetic, touching and above all compelling.
The film shows the dull everyday life of a group of jobless deckhands, who try to get their lives back under control. One of them gets goes to job interviews almost every day, but gets refusal after refusal, because is too old. Another one has familial troubles because of his dismissal and another one drowns his frustration in regular boozing.
Despite the obvious socio-critical message of it, the film doesn't get polarizing or hostile to capitalism at any time, thanks to the terrific performances of all actors (above all Javier Bardem), and the sensitive script that particularly emphasizes the character's conflicts and their dealing with their situations. The note of the film is not a very political or even cynical one, it is very tranquil and melancholic. The actual brilliance of the film consists in the awesomely empathetic portrayal of the feelings of the jobless persons, that have to get used to the situation, that they are the scum of society from now on.
The beautiful soundtrack and the excellent editing and cinematography add to the sad but at times also hopeful atmosphere.
It's actually a great pity that no other film before has dealt with such an important issue that affects almost everybody's everyday life today.
Michael Moore could learn a lesson from Fernando León de Aranoa of how to combine social criticism and the affected person's fates. I wish there could be more films like this, that let you leave the theater with a comfortable feeling, but that give a thought provoking impulse at the same time.
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