Barcelona, 1948: An old man living with 14 y.o. Dani and his mom, arranges for Dani to draw the cute 15 y.o. Susana, bedridden with TB. Her dad's friend visits Susana and her sexy mom and tells about her dad and Shanghai.
A fourteen year old lad discovers his first love at the point of his pencil whilst drawing the portrait of a sickly but coquettish fifteen year old girl. In the neighbourhood an old freedom-fighter pits himself against bad types, a pretty cinema-ticket girl takes to the streets at night and a young anarchist dedicates himself to telling tall stories. Far away, in Shanghai, a hero of the Republic meets a beautiful femme fatal with oriental eyes. Reality and fiction become fused in an embrace.Written by
Fernando Trueba knows how to tell a story. And more importantly for cinema lovers, he also knows how to make it visually compelling. The story might be a bit twisted, you might have a bit of difficulty to follow exactly what's going on, but the movie is still worth watching. The cast is superb. Fernando Fernán Gomez is great as the old captain who's more lucid than he appears to be. Ariadna Gil is sublime in her role. Both Fernando Tielve and Aida Folch are to be remembered, because I'm sure we'll see more of them in the future. Another thing I liked about this movie is the photography. Trueba makes good use of black and white and keeps shifting the screen format from one scene to the other. And I really liked the ending. See for yourself.
Seen at home, in Toronto, on March 4th, 2006.
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