Julio Medem

Julio Medem

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Ma Ma Review

Very Good

From Spain, this drama grapples with some enormous issues without getting too heavy about them. It's emotionally wrenching without ever feeling sentimental, because inventive filmmaker Julio Medem (Sex & Lucia) keeps the tone funny and full of life. He also gets sparkling performances from Penelope Cruz and Luis Tosar, who keep the movie bright and hopeful even as the characters face mortality and death.

Cruz plays Magda, a feisty woman who turns all of her energy toward her lively teen son Dani (Teo Planell) after ditching her womanising husband Raul (Alex Brendemuhl). Dani is a star player on his school football team, attracting the attention of top scout Arturo (Tosar), whose life is shaken to the core when his daughter is killed in a car crash that leaves his wife in a coma. Secretly, Magda has been dealing with issues of her own, going through treatment for advanced breast cancer with her attentive doctor Julian (Asier Etxeandia). When things get more serious, she sends Dani away to stay with his aunt (Monica Sagrera). And while he's away, she and Arturo help each other through their darkest moments.

The film is a rollercoaster of emotions, from soaring happiness to deep despair, and Medem's approach is so honest that this never feels jarring. It's a look at the resilience of the human spirit, which can remain optimistic even when things get tough. Using dry humour and truthful emotions, he explores the importance of choosing joy, seamlessly mixing comedy and tragedy while refusing to let this become a traditional weepy drama. Within this open-handed approach, Cruz shines as a radiant woman who faces life head-on. Her interaction with each of the other characters is complex and engaging, especially in the surprising journey Magda takes with Arturo. Tosar is excellent, as always, with equally layered side roles beautifully played by Planell and Exteandia.

Continue reading: Ma Ma Review

Benicio Del Toro, Julio Medem, Laurent Cantet and Cannes Film Festival - Gaspar Noe, Benicio del Toro, Laurent Cantet, Eli Suleima, Pablo Trapero and Julio Medem Wednesday 23rd May 2012 Photocall for '7 Dias En La Habana' (7 Days in Havana) during the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival

Benicio Del Toro, Julio Medem, Laurent Cantet and Cannes Film Festival
Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro

Sex And Lucía Review


Good
Think of it as what might have happened to Luisa after her adventure in Y Tu Mamá También, and in a mildly alternate universe, too.

For Lucía y el sexo -- cleverly twisted around for English-speaking audiences as Sex and Lucía, to put the emphasis on the film's substantial eroticism -- the alternate universe reference is more appropriate than you might think. The story (obviously) centers around Lucía (Paz Vega), a listless waitress who falls in love with a novelist named Lorenzo (Tristán Ulloa), based on the power of his works. She propositions him, soon they're living together and engaging in lots of the titular activity, but then Lorenzo disappears. A cop calls, and Lucía fears Lorenzo is dead.

Continue reading: Sex And Lucía Review

Lovers Of The Arctic Circle Review


Very Good
Surprising, haunting, magical, and spiritual -- Lovers of the Arctic Circle presents a strange story of love and bizarre coincidence, a journey across decades that begins when a boy falls in love with a girl at school. When their parents end up getting married, "brother and sister" begin a torrid affair, then eventually split up when, as a young man, the boy leaves to seek his destiny. As adults, the two try to seek each other out again, converging upon a small island in the Arctic Circle.

Reminscent of Map of the Human Heart, the film is slow to get going and a bit gimmicky (telling the story from both points of view, repeating the scenes with a different slant), but it all pays off in the end. Give it a chance; you're sure to fall in love with all three actresses that play the woman throughout her life.

Continue reading: Lovers Of The Arctic Circle Review

Julio Medem

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Julio Medem Movies

Ma Ma Movie Review

Ma Ma Movie Review

From Spain, this drama grapples with some enormous issues without getting too heavy about them....

Sex and Lucía Movie Review

Sex and Lucía Movie Review

Think of it as what might have happened to Luisa after her adventure in Y...

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