The Queen of Spain (La reina de España) (2016)

FERNANDO TRUEBA Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.  Spain, 2016.  Atresmedia Cine, Atresmedia, Crea SGR, Fernando Trueba Producciones Cinematográficas, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, Movistar+, The Queen Picture.  Screenplay by Fernando Trueba.  Cinematography by José Luis Alcaine.  Produced by Anne Deluz, Mercedes Gamero, Cristina Huete, Mikel Lejarza.  Music by Zbigniew Preisner.  Production Design by Juan Pedro de Gaspar. …

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Zama (2017)

LUCRECIA MARTEL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  Argentina/Spain/France/Netherlands/USA/Brazil/Mexico/Portugal/Lebanon/Switzerland, 2017.  Bananeira Filmes, CNC, Canana, El Deseo, Institut Francais, Instituto de la Cinematografia y de las Artes Audiovisuales, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, KNM, L’Aide aux Cinemas du Monde, Lemming Film, Louverture Films, MPM Film, Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et du Developpement International, Netherland Filmfund, O Som…

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Neruda

BBBB (out of 5) Pablo Neruda has helped elect Videla to office but now greatly regrets the effort, and despite his Communist party membership making him a target of the president’s efforts to wipe the party out, Neruda maintains his ability to speak his mind about his country’s politics while also wooing the Chilean populace…

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Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) You get six movies for the price of one in this remarkably entertaining omnibus, a collection of stories written and directed by Damian Szifron that illuminate themes of Argentinean government and society through tales of vengeance and violence.  A plane full of people discover they have one man in common who,…

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The Artist And The Model (El Artista Y La Modelo)

BB.5 (out of 5) A Spanish girl emerges from the bushes on the French side of the border in 1943 and happens upon the country home of an aging sculptor (Jean Rochefort) and his former model wife (Claudia Cardinale).  She needs money and a place to stay, so she begins to pose for the artist,…

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The Monk (Le Moine)

B.5 (out of 5) A novel published in 1796 by twenty-one year-old Matthew Lewis, overflowing with images of demons and ghost nuns, lusty blood-soaked virgins and murderous friars, all of them manifested by a committed belief in the supernatural world, has been turned into a dour and pompously spare experience directed by a skeptic with…

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In The City (En La Ciudad)

BBBB (out of 5) From Cesc Gay (Nico And Dani) comes this terrific ensemble drama about the lives of four couples in modern day Barcelona. One is a happily married, middle-class couple with a child and a beautiful home whose mother perfect calm is thrown for a loop when the wife reunites with a woman who…

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The Last Summer Of La Boyita (El Ultimo Verano De La Boyita)

BB.5 (out of 5) Julia Solomonoff fails to capture the excitement of her debut feature Sisters with this languorous drama.  Jorgelina is a little girl sent to spend the summer with her doctor father on his sprawling Argentinean ranch, where she makes the friendship of Mario, a farmer’s boy who works for her father. Mario is preparing…

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Barcelona, A Map (Barcelona, Un Mapa)

BB (out of 5) 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…

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The Fish Child (El Niño Pez)

BB (out of 5) Lucia Puenzo follows her directorial debut XXY with this dreary, unlikeable drama. The daughter of a wealthy politician is madly in love with her native maid, and the two of them save money for the day that they plan to run away. After the politician ends up murdered, his daughter goes…

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Julia’s Eyes (Los Ojos De Julia)

BBBB (out of 5) A woman with a degenerating eye condition (Belén Rueda) discovers that her twin sister hanged herself after having already gone completely blind. Devastated by her loss, Rueda travels to her sister’s home with her concerned husband (Lluís Homar) and comes across scant evidence that only she believes that points to the…

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Chico & Rita

BBBBB (out of 5) 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,…

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