Through Adela and Antonia’s lives we have a glimpse of those brief moments of joy and sorrow common to anyone who lives in a big city. The film is a realistic portrait of the extremely limited lives that so many people lead.
Two women. Two stories. In the end, life continues its course over time.
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I loved this film. Had no idea what to expect, and it totally surprised me. Intriguing camera work, split screens were initially a little disorientating but evolved into something that enhanced the moody melancholic tone - detached and yet paradoxically not. Demands quite a bit from the observer, always a good thing! A real gem, excited to see the others in the series.
Rosales' Goya winning second film is a well told dual examination of two very different women at different points in their lives. One is a younger woman coming to terms with grief and survival, the other a woman trying to manage her own happiness while dealing with the needs of her three grown daughters. The split screen often used seems more gimmick than artistic at times but the pluses far outweigh the cons here.
GREAT EDITiNG & SPLIT SCREEN FRAMING . Nearly an hour to reach a terror blast where life collapses. From min 50 to min 51 exactly. Everyone will have his opinion on this unusual language of the casual. === Près d'une heure de cadrage & montage parfaits pour en arriver à 1 explosion terroriste ou tout bascule. De la 50ème à la 51ème min exactement. Chacun se fera son opinion sur ce langage inhabituel de l'habituel.
3.5. I liked the split frame the director chose to use. To me, it shows we are actually alone even when we are together with other people. We are alone in our sadness, in our memories, in our thoughts. Despite the works on psychology, communication, social sciences in general, we still lack healthy communication. Or that's the way we'll always be no matter what.
Split-screen is usually gimmicky on film but Rosales – a deft formal experimenter – makes great use of it in this moving, slow-burning drama. A poignant and perceptive window on the lives of two women and the pain and loss that lies within and beyond what we see onscreen.
The film is thoughtful and quiet to a fault. It takes the "A day in the life" approach and goes one step too far. It has scenes that are clever and lively, but the vast majority fall too far into the mundane to capture the imagination. The idea of the split scenes is a touch of genius and it utilized. But I wish it had been more fully explored and played with. The film left me wanting more adventurousness.
It's interesting how the director introduces the death scenes in the rhythm of the ordinary everyday life. The camera is stable and calm. The scenes were really unexpected and shocked, but at the same time like hiccups in the course of life.
Rosales works here in the tradition of filmmakers like Ozu and Haneke, whose rigorous cinematic styles are used to convey the full messiness of human experience. Instead of keeping us at a deliberate distance, which is far easier to do, here formal audacity and a slower pace draw us intensely close to the characters. Two scenes, one involving a death, another an explosion, will stay with me for a long, long time.