The Sex of Angels [El Sexo de los Angeles] Movie Review

A strong underlying message makes this sharply well-acted Spanish drama much more interesting than its premise would suggest. Yes, it's the story of a very complicated love triangle, which might limit its appeal to audiences who aren't threatened by movies that play provocatively with sexuality issues. But it's a thoughtful and involving look at how attraction and even sex are more about a personal connection than gender.

Set in Madrid, the story centres on architect student Bruno (Gonzalez), who is rescued from a mugging by street-dancer Rai (Cervantes). The two immediately hit it off, so when Rai says that he's looking for a place to live, Bruno arranges for him to stay with two friends (Pociello and Garcia Cote). But their friendship develops a spark of attraction that causes Bruno to question his sexuality. And when his long-time girlfriend Carla (Berges-Frisbey) discovers this, her liberal values are pushed to the limit. Can she accept that Bruno has a boyfriend and make room in her life for Rai? Or might this cause another set of problems.

Yes, the plot is fairly sparky, travelling into some unusual areas without ever being gimmicky or preachy. Director Villaverde maintains a remarkably relaxed, warm tone, centring on the shifting relationships between characters who are intriguingly unsure of themselves. Which of course helps us identify with them even more strongly. So even if the romantic melodrama gets a bit too tangled, we can sympathise with each person on-screen.

All three of the central actors are excellent, combining raw physicality with honest soulfulness. Each one approaches this situation from a unique perspective: soul-searching, compartmentalising or being open to whatever life throws at them. And their struggles are surprisingly believable, even when we just want to slap them and tell them to make their minds up. Even the side characters add texture to the story, which catches telling details that turn it into much more than a sexual fantasy. And what makes it worth seeing is its boldly non-Hollywood approach: using both sensitivity and sensuality, it challenges us to look inside ourselves.

Rich Cline

Cast & Crew

Director : Xavier Villaverde

Producer : Pancho Casal, Jordi Mendieta, Leonel Vieira

Starring : , Alvaro Cervantes, Llorenc Gonzalez, Sonia Mendez, Julieta Marocco, Lluisa Castell, Marc Garcia Cote, Marc Pociello


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moalta's picture

moalta

The movie is set in Barcelona, not Madrid.

10 months 2 weeks ago
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The Sex of Angels [El Sexo de los Angeles] Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 15, 2012

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