Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1998. Kan Zamia-a, Kanzaman, Polaris Pictures. Screenplay by Ann Guedes, Frank McGuinness, based on the novel by Kate O’Brien. Cinematography by Aleksei Rodionov. Produced by Patrick Cassavetti. Music by Trevor Jones. Production Design by Michael Howells. Costume Design by Lala Huete,Lena Mossum, Elizabeth Waller. Film Editing by Michael Bradsell, Gerry Hambling.
Lush-looking Miramax cheese about an Irish lass (Polly Walker) who is sent to live as a governess in war-torn Spain and ends up charming her employer (Franco Nero) and his politically rebellious son (Vincent Perez). Along the way she experiences the Spanish Civil War first-hand, makes friends with a compatriot governess (Frances McDormand) and grows up a little from the innocent maid she used to be, but with all its epic feel and beautiful locales the film never seems to manage to be more than a mild distraction. Fans of Spanish cinema will enjoy seeing its most respected actresses, including Marisa Paredes, Penelope Cruz and Ariadna Gil in supporting roles, but the film really belongs to Walker, and for all the charm and talent she’s showing she deserves for it to be better.