This Saturday, March 6, the winners of the thirty-fifth edition of the Goya Awards will be announced. Like the last Golden Globes, it will be a gala marked by its virtual celebration as a measure against the coronavirus in which only five titles aspire to take home the statuette reserved for the best film of the year.
At Espinof we wanted to review all of them ordering from worst (or less good) to best the five nominees for best film. As always happens in these cases, it is a personal selection and not an attempt to impose my opinion as something irrefutable. Without further ado, I leave you with them …
The great sensation of Spanish cinema at the beginning of the year has ended up having enough pull to sneak into the Goya and be the most nominated with 14 nominations. Something exaggerated in my opinion, since it is true that it is appreciated that it is a story with a conscience, but it is structured in such a way that the film of Salvador Calvo He ends up staying halfway in everything he proposes.
And is that if you are going to tell three parallel stories, worry about giving enough entity to all of them and that it is not so noticeable that the one that really interests you is the one starring the character that gives the film its title, which in addition to yeah it’s not that memorable either. Luis Tosar and Anna Castillo They help to raise the other and from the third you directly forget the few days of seeing it.
It is usually inevitable to mention Isabel Coixet when we talk about the most outstanding Spanish director of our time, but then, at least in my case, I usually enjoy more with what comes to us from the hand of Icíar Bollaín, who here knows how to give a successful light tone to the story of a woman who explodes when she sees the little case that she has done to herself.
From there, a film is built that has a lot of crowd pleaser, avoiding enhancing the more dramatic side of the story in order to facilitate the connection with the public. That takes away some packaging from what counts to look more for a pleasant and easy-to-digest message, but to have in front of the cast with Candela Peña, one of the best actresses in our cinema, more than makes up for it.
The big favorite is this first feature film directed by Pilar Palomero, also responsible for the script of the film, which transports us to the 90s to offer us a coming of age story that feels a bit empty when it comes to portraying an era – at times it almost seems that everything really happened three decades before- how of the loss of innocence.
It is true that the staging work focuses on locking up its protagonists and, to a certain extent, on doing the same with the viewer, but when it comes down to it, what really works here is the great work of its young actresses. . There the casting success is absolute and justifies by itself the existence of the film. For the rest, I do not find anything particularly memorable in her, because although it was in a different age and another time, I think that ‘Innocence’ plays better with similar ingredients.
Criticism in Espinof
A new demonstration of the good moment that Basque cinema has been going through in recent years. It is true that the debut of David Pérez Sañudo It does not reach the same level as the work of Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga, but that does not prevent it from being a most stimulating approach to the estrangement between a mother and her daughter with terrorism as a backdrop.
Marked by the omnipresence of an excellent Patricia López Arnaiz, ‘Ane’ is a film that has a lot of contemplative, both to see what happens in the day-to-day life of its characters and in what supposes a gap between them, all this very well collected through the staging work .
Criticism in Espinof
I do not think it is the best by an overwhelming difference and I am clear that having already won with ‘Truman’ plays against him, but of the five nominees it is my favorite. The motives? Mainly two, the first is the wonderful cast it has, with a constant give and take between them in what is essential its other unquestionable virtue in my opinion: the script.
It is true that Cesc Gay It started with an “advantage” since it was the adaptation of a play of his with which he had already had the opportunity to see what worked best, but it should not detract any merit from a very funny story without ever neglecting reflection especially what it proposes, and that also knows how to go on going at all times.
There is a lot of merit in that, because soon after starting it seems that everything is going to explode sooner rather than later with that friction between the characters played by Javier Cámara and Griselda Siciliani, but the film knows how to grow from there, avoiding at all times falling into the excessively theatrical, first pulling on the playful and more comical and then becoming more and more serious without feeling like a sudden change in tone.
Criticism in Espinof
The true MVP among the nominees
Having said all this, the best of all the films with any nomination is ‘Lamentable Stories’, a sensational comedy far superior to ‘Champions’, Javier Fesser’s previous feature film, which barely aspires to three statuettes – revelation actor, original script and effects visuals- when easily deserved triple.
‘Regrettable Stories’ is a film with personality at all levels, from that construction of characters that other Fesser comedies immediately bring to mind, something that also applies to his unmistakable visual finish, with a very well-defined tendency to excess to enhance everything that interests him at all times.
In addition, the cast is perfectly chosen so that they fit like a glove in their respective stories, where there is always a tendency to take everything to the extreme for comic purposes, but also keeping each of the stories under control at all times. And on top of that, there is none that can be singled out as the weakest link, since each and every one of them would have shone in other anthologies.
Nor do I forget the good use of accumulation effect to win over the viewer and gradually go from laughter to laughter. Personally, I ended up enjoying the last story more for it, probably also the one that starts from a more crazy premise. A pity that a jewel like ‘Lamentable Stories’ has not received greater recognition in the Goya.