Carlos Alvarez

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Lucia, Lucia Review


Very Good
How does an attention-grabber like Lucia, Lucia get a finale so dull, that it actually taints the entire movie? For about 90 minutes, the movie grabs you by the shirt collar with a plot ripe with humor, sex, and character development. And then those last minutes come along like a kazoo solo in a Springsteen working-class anthem, forever altering your experience.

Regardless of that metaphorical solo, Lucia, Lucia blends a lot of different styles effortlessly and is buoyed by a terrific performance by Cecilia Roth in the title role. Lucia is an aging children's book writer who is unsatisfied with her life in Mexico. Everything changes, when her bureaucrat husband, Ramon, disappears at the airport.

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Solas Review


Very Good
There are many causes of poverty -- birth, bad luck, bad choices, mistrust of one's neighbors, or a combination of these. All of these factors have conspired to place María (Ana Fernández ) in a miserable life. María, the youngest of four children, has moved to an unnamed city in southern Spain to escape the poverty and illiteracy of her parents' rural town -- becoming estranged from her family in the process.

As one of the countless workers living in the city slums, María has nothing but contempt for her mother and her past, even though she has not done better with her life. But when María's father (a bully who keeps María from attending college and treats her mother like property) is hospitalized in the city and her mother is forced to stay in María's apartment for some weeks, María is forced to appreciate her mother and face her own shortcomings.

Continue reading: Solas Review

Solas Review


Very Good

The title speaks volumes about each character's deeply entrenched emotional state in "Solas," a soul-clenching Spanish import dominated last year's Goya awards (the Spanish Oscar).

"Solas" translates as "alone," and it's a story about a bitterly estranged mother and daughter, forced back into each other's lives by the hospitalization of their hateful husband/father.

Maria (Ana Fernandez), whose life is filled with anger and alcohol, escaped her loveless, farm country home and moved to the city as soon as she was of age, after coming to despise her parents through a history the movie only hints at. She is alone because her entire personality is a defense mechanism. Through an adult life of hardship, she's learned to distrust everyone, and she won't let the people who really do care about her anywhere near her heart.

Continue reading: Solas Review

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Carlos Alvarez Movies

Lucia, Lucia Movie Review

Lucia, Lucia Movie Review

How does an attention-grabber like Lucia, Lucia get a finale so dull, that it actually...

Solas Movie Review

Solas Movie Review

The title speaks volumes about each character's deeply entrenched emotional state in "Solas," a soul-clenching...

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