Fans of more recent Almodovar films like The Skin I Live In or Volver should be warned about this one, because it harks back to his much cheesier 1980s films with its broad comedy, lurid production values and camp characters. But even if it looks fluffy and silly, there are some serious things going on under the surface, as Almodovar undermines stereotypes and plays with sexuality issues. Although this means that most of the humour is aimed at a gay audience.
It all takes place on a flight from Spain to Mexico, but shortly after take-off the pilot (de la Torre) announces that a mechanical fault means they need to make an emergency landing. Then the passenger Bruna (Duenas) reveals that she's a virginal psychic who sees death ahead, and everyone starts to panic. The flight crew (Camara, Areces and Arevalo) try to distract the passengers from impending doom by performing a choreographed number to the Pointer Sisters' eponymous hit. And when that doesn't work, they lace everyone's drinks with mescaline.
Each person in the first class cabin (economy is sound asleep) has his or her own crisis, including a notorious dominatrix (Roth), a businessman (Torrijo) on a quest, a shady hitman (Yazpik), a just-married groom (Silvestre) who prefers his wife to be asleep, and a man (Toledo) running from his suicidal girlfriend (Vega). And the pilots and flight attendants are also romantically entangled. All of this swirls together like a nutty 1970s Mexican soap, complete with flimsy-looking sets and a sparky mariachi score.
Continue reading: I'm So Excited! [Los Amantes Pasajeros] Review
"I'm sorry for everything I said when I left," a pretty young waitress whispers into a pay phone at the back of her restaurant in the opening scene of "Sex and Lucia." Regret and apprehension resonate in her voice. Her body is both tense and tired, not from too little sleep (although that's probably a part of it) but from the fatigue of having strain she can't resolve in a relationship that has been the most important thing in her life.
All of this is evident within seconds of this girl's presence on screen, so it's no wonder the composed yet sensual and expressive Paz Vega won a Goya (Spain's Oscar) for this performance. She goes on to cover a remarkable range of emotion, strength and vulnerability as the lovely Lucia, who by the end of that phone call has sensed desperate despondency in her already deeply-troubled lover. She dashes home to find a disturbing farewell note just as the phone rings with a call from the police expressing regret about an horrible automobile accident....
Lucia hangs up in the middle of the call, hastily packs a backpack and runs away to the only place she can think of that might put her heart at rest -- an island off the coast that Lorenzo (Tristan Ulloa), her lover, had always talked about but never taken her to visit.
Continue reading: Sex & Lucia Review
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