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Solas (1998)

Cast: Ana Fernandez, Ana Fernandez, Maria Galiana, more...
Director: Benito Zambrano, Benito Zambrano
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Studio: First Look Pictures
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Spain
Running Time: 98 min.
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English
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Recently Rented By Cinenaut

Maria (Ana Fernandez), whose parents live in the country, cannot stand her father's authoritarian ways and moves to the city. She finds a job as a cleaner and tries to survive in a wretched apartment in the shabby part of a big city. She is pregnant, and the fact that her boyfriend has abandoned her does not help matters. When her father goes to the hospital for an operation, her mother comes to stay with her. Her neighbor, an old recluse whose only friend is his dog, begins to come out of his shell and these three lost souls try to give each other (and especially Maria) the strength to start over. A sensitive portrait of urban isolation and loneliness, Solas received the Panorama People's Choice Award at the 49th International Berlin Film Festival, 1999. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A difficult and wonderful film by MKaliher March 29, 2008 - 11:25 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Unlike your standard Hollywood fare, this film is About something, or, more accurately, many somethings. It's about real people, to begin with, people who are grappling with life's difficulties and injustices--and its loneliness. Ana Fernandez's character comes from an abusive rural family built on backward, destructive behaviors. Her father liked beat his wife and children--both physically and mentally--as a means to maintain his dominance and authority, and naturally his children all left at the first opportunity. Now, when he is hospitalized with some illness, the grief and chaos he created are exposed. The daughter the story revolves around is a self-loathing alcoholic who can't quite seem to gain control of her life, and, to make matters worse, she finds she has become pregnant by her selfish, abusive boyfriend.

Left on her own to decide what to do, she comes to grips with her dysfunctional background, and with the help of a kind, elderly stranger--who is equally lonely--finds some measure of resolution to her situation.

If this sounds like a Mike Leigh film, don't be alarmed. Director Benito Zambrano doesn't leave us twisting in the wind. He has given us a thoughtful, realistic, and ultimately hopeful film which helps us understand life's challenges. A great script and casting, and superb performances all around. Don't miss this one. And don't be put off by the idea that this film was made for television. Spain is one of the few countries where films made for television can be outstanding, and this one is better than 95% of the big-budget movies cranked out by Hollywood.

Beware . . . by WReynolds January 5, 2005 - 12:45 PM PST
0 out of 4 members found this review helpful
A TV movie, which should be a separate and distinct genre . . .

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.54)
13 Votes
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Directors from Spain 1990's-
The first generation of Spanish Directors free of the Franco Regime baggage.

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