Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Spain/United Kingdom, 2010. Isle of Man Film, CinemaNX, Estudio Mariscal, Fernando Trueba Producciones Cinematográficas, , HanWay Films, , Instituto de Crédito Oficial, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, Magic Light Pictures, Mesfilms, Televisió de Catalunya, Televisión Española. Screenplay by Ignacio Martinez de Pison, Fernando Trueba. Produced by Santi Errando, Cristina Huete, Martin Pope, Michael Rose. Music by Bebo Valdés. Costume Design by Mariolis Robaina Valiente. Film Editing by Arnau Quiles. Academy Awards 2011. European Film Awards 2011. Toronto International Film Festival 2010.
Cuban rhythms of the twentieth century get a whole new life in this gorgeous, animated musical whose bright images and pulsing beats never abate. It tells the fictional but reality-based love story of a pianist and a singer who meet, fall in love, and are separated by circumstances as personal conflicts, the turbulent political history of their country and opportunities knocking from the big land up north complicate their affair. Through it all there’s never a song too far in the distance, and directors Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal are wise to constantly focus on the art that these performers produce throughout their lives, preventing the familiar story from ever feeling cliched. It’s a glorious experience whose pencil-drawn protagonists never feel anything less than truly human, and all the singing is simply divine.