Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Original title: La Mujer Sin Piano
Spain, 2009. Avalon Productions, Lolita Films. Screenplay by Lola Mayo, Javier Rebollo. Cinematography by Santiago Racaj. Produced by Damian Paris, Stefan Schmitz, Maria Zamora. Production Design by Miguel Angel Rebello. Costume Design by Lena Mossum. Film Editing by Angel Hernandez Zoido.
Twenty-four hours in the day of a seemingly average Madrid woman played by the always charismatic Carmen Machi. She’s an aesthetician who sends her husband off to work before conducting a few appointments in her home. She also runs a few errands, constantly thwarted by the small-minded bureaucracy of city living, before going home to have dinner with her spouse. He goes to bed, then she puts on a wig, grabs a suitcase and calmly walks out the door, heading to the local train station where she is to await a voyage we have not been given details about. She meets a sweet Polish stranger (Jan Budar) in the station and ends up killing the wee small hours with them as they wait for their departures, going for a meal and getting a hotel room before daylight arrives and they must deal with the realities of the next day. Machi is always a watchable persona, just watching her smile in response to Budar, who is wonderfully endearing, is incredibly soothing, and their interaction might make this empty experience worthwhile viewing for some audience members, but the truth is that it features little in the way of rich mystery or meaningful subtext. When it’s not ripping off Jeanne Dielman it’s a pale imitation of Kaurismaki, featuring tons of details that build to nothing in the very limp finale.