6.9/10
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Abel (2010)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 4 March 2011 (USA)
About a peculiar young boy who, as he blurs reality and fantasy, takes over the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence.

Director:

Diego Luna
Reviews
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Christopher Ruíz-Esparza ... Abel
José María Yazpik ... Anselmo
Karina Gidi ... Cecilia
Carlos Aragón Carlos Aragón ... Dr. Monárrez
Gerardo Ruíz-Esparza ... Paúl
Geraldine Galván ... Selene (as Geraldine Alejandra)
Gabino Rodríguez Gabino Rodríguez ... Clemente
Lucero Trejo Lucero Trejo ... Esperancita
Maria Elena Cervantes Maria Elena Cervantes ... Cocinera
Marcela Ruiz Esparza ... Maestra (as Marcela Ruíz Esparza)
Úrsula Pruneda ... Dr. Islas
Norma Angélica ... Taxistra Mujer
Mauricio Isaac ... Policia
Francisco Franco Alba Francisco Franco Alba ... Empteado Balneario
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Storyline

About a peculiar young boy who, as he blurs reality and fantasy, takes over the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

one word title | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

4 March 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Абель See more »

Filming Locations:

Aguascalientes, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,706,679
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| |

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film directed by Diego Luna. His first and previous effort as director was a documentary. See more »

Connections

Features La oveja negra (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Abel
Written and Performed by Julieta Venegas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bizarre gem drenched in Lacanian imagery
24 April 2014 | by jwill602See all my reviews

From a brief description, Abel sounds like a lighthearted comedy. A boy, possibly autistic, takes charge in his household when he realizes that his mother is struggling to raise her three children. After staying up all night watching Pedro Infante movies, he begins to act like a father, taking care of his younger brother and older sister. However, problems arise when he takes his role too far. The film gets slightly disturbing when Abel begins thinking he is actually an adult. There are predictably cute moments that occur when a child acts like an adult, but they are constantly undermined by slightly disturbing moments. Don't get me wrong, Abel is still somewhat of a comedy, but it has a much darker side.

Luna is clearly well versed in Lacan (or, at the very least, he's read Mulvey). Abel's problem is with his identification. Something went wrong in the mirror stage and now his entire understanding of the symbolic order is incorrect. He rejects the name of the father and things get strangely Oedipal. In a climactic sequence, Abel's father makes use of a mirror in an attempt to correct Abel's identificatory issues.

Usually, Lacan is evoked for commentaries on the medium itself. Luna gives the ideas a fresh take by tackling them within the plot. If you've read Lacan or are familiar with his ideas, you'll definitely get a kick out of this film. Even if you haven't (but if you're interested in film, you should definitely read Mulvey's short article Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema) you can still enjoy the film as a bizarre story about a kid who challenges his absent father.


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