Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Original title: Barcelona, Un Mapa
Spain, 2007. Els Films de la Rambla, Generalitat de Catalunya – Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals, Instituto de Crédito Oficial, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, Televisió de Catalunya, Televisión Española. Screenplay by Ventura Pons, based on the play Barcelona, Mapa d’Ombres by Lluisa Cunille. Cinematography by Mario Montero. Produced by Ventura Pons. Music by Carles Cases. Production Design by Bel-lo Torras. Costume Design by Nuria Cardoner. Film Editing by Pere Abadal. Toronto International Film Festival 2007.
An elderly couple live in their sprawling Barcelona apartment with three boarders, all of whom they’ve asked to leave; the husband of the pair is dying of cancer and wishes to spend his remaining time alone with his wife. Throughout this sometimes evocative but mostly tedious film by Ventura Pons, one or the other of the landlords has a lengthy conversation with each of their tenants in which they discuss their personal histories and their connections with the city’s turbulent past, revealing secrets of their lives that in some cases they’ve never admitted before. While Pons continues to prove his wonderful talent with character and dialogue, this film isn’t nearly as successful a transfer of theatrical values to cinema as Caresses or Beloved/Friend; instead it’s an intelligent, tasteful and extremely well-acted bore, difficult to sit through and offering very little reward in its conclusion.