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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lo Mejor de Mí (The Best of Me)


This Roser Aguilar film was a very pleasant surprise especially when I have been seeing very depressing films that I do not even want to comment about them here; but the surprise is that with a potential depressing story this movie becomes and is such a beautiful to watch film with a very uplifting story. The film totally looks and feels not really from Spain, but more like good European cinema, or better, like good French cinema.

Tells about Raquel that finally asks Tomas her cheating boyfriend to live together and as they start their life together, Tomas gets very sick. Raquel slowly begins to question herself about how far can she go for love? I now, it sounds terrible, but can you imagine a story like this told in the most realistic way and looking and feeling like a succession of little/big quotidian moments? If you can imagine it, then you’re imagining this movie that will allow you to observe everything and the most unusual experience is that it also involves you from afar.

There are no dramatics, no melodrama, nothing negative in here and there are many gaps in the story that you the viewer have to fill as much as you can, as you’re the observer and the filmmaker and co writer just tell you a few things that are enough to detonate your imagination to fill whatever is not told.

The story is told from Raquel point-of-view, as matter of fact it is a story about only Raquel, with all the other characters playing distant secondary roles and it is quite a remarkable women story that I know will appeal more to women than to men.

Raquel is outstandingly played by beautiful Marian Alvarez and you will be able to see her slow transformation from a happy and worriless woman to a confused, hurt and struggling woman (but very assertive) and all this is done quietly with only face expressions. Truly amazing! So, it is no surprise to find that she won the Silver Leopard for Best Actress at the 2007 Locarno fest.

As a movie it is interesting, a little arty, like if the filmmaker is experimenting with art cinema techniques, but has very good framing of buildings and other elements that totally contribute to whatever is told in the moment and cinematography, editing and sound are quite good. So it was also not a surprise that the film was in competition for the Golden Leopard at 2007 Locarno fest. The movie and Marian Alvarez have other awards and nominations in mainly European festivals.

I know that it’s not for all audiences, as not only is arty but the way the story is told is very unusual, except perhaps for those that know and love good French cinema. So if you really like movies where you see whatever is happening in the screen and can fill the gaps of what it is not said or seen, then this movie is for you.

I enjoyed the movie a lot and was totally mesmerized by Marian Alvarez performance that I believe absolutely stole the movie, but then the story and movie was all about her character.

Enjoy!!!

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