5.6/10
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1 user 1 critic

Las vidas de Celia (2006)

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Celia
...
Miguel Ángel
...
Agustín
...
Ángela
...
Jaime
Mentxu Romero ...
Carmen
Javier Díaz ...
Pedro
...
Melany (as Jimena Ayala)
...
Marta
Pep Ricart ...
Cervantes
Eric Garcia ...
Martí
Miguel Ángel Luna ...
Padre Melany
Oriol Genís ...
Espinosa
Moi Rodríguez Ramos ...
Moi
...
Astrid (as Nausica Bonnín)
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Drama

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Release Date:

19 January 2007 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Cecilia életei  »

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(European Film Market)

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User Reviews

 
Well constructed and acted mystery
16 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Only minor spoilers revealed. Does not contain main spoiler.)

The crime is murder. The body of a young woman is found at a construction site, maybe a dump. The well-constructed and edited script has three threads: (1) the young woman before she died, (2) the police detective who will solve the case, and (3) Celia, her family and friends, some of which become suspects. The cuts among the three are frequent, each section peeling a layer of the mystery. The detective thread is linear and serves as the backbone for the other two. The latter are told non-linearly, especially the story of Celia and its embedded flashbacks.

Like any good mystery, there is misdirection. Suspicion passes from one suspect to another. The detective is methodical and cunning. The mystery is eventually solved but not in the manner we have come to expect. Typical mystery plot elements are not treated conventionally. For example, the murder is never (re)enacted. There is a likely "smoking gun", but a finger is never pointed formally at the murderer. Nonetheless, if one remembers the appropriate "irrelevant" details, we know who did it.

Acting is excellent. Well-known Spanish faces, some theater actors, and a few non-professionals make up the cast. This is helpful for a film that is more than a mystery. It is a story of people with complicated lives, lives that are affected by the murder and in turn affect the course of the investigation.

The title can be construed in a few ways: different periods in Celia's life (happy, depressed, hopeful), the suggestion of a split personality, or the lives of those near her. For a moment in the first half, I thought a second Celia character had made an appearance, but having seen the film only once, I can't be sure. In any case, only one Celia matters.


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