DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

FICTION (FICCION)  (director/writer: Cesc Gay; screenwriter: Tomàs Aragay; cinematographer: Andreu Rebés ; editor: Frank Gutiérrez ; music: Xavier Salvá/Cesc Gay; cast: Javier Camara (Santi), Montse German (Monica), Carme Pla (Judith), Eduard Fernández (Alex), Agata Roca (Sílvia); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Marta Esteban/Gerardo Herrero; (CDI Films) Alta Films; 2006-Spain-in Spanish with English subtitles)

"A realistic drama about a mid-life crisis."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Catalan filmmaker Cesc Gay ("A Gun In Each Hand"/"Hotel Room"/"Nico and Dani") artfully directs a realistic drama about a mid-life crisis, and shows the affects of the human condition on a sensitive artist looking for answers about the direction of his life. Gay co-writes the nimble screenplay with Tomàs Aragay.

The soon to be 40-year-old Alex (Eduard Fernández) is a married Barcelona-based filmmaker, who suffers from writer's block. To be inspired to write the screenplay for his new film, Alex leaves his wife home and stays in scenic Catalan Cerdanya at the country cabin of his world-traveler bohemian friend Santi (Javier Camara). To Alex's pleasant surprise the terminally ill Judith (Carme Pla) and her musician friend Monica (Montse German) are there as Santi's guests. The foursome dine together and converse about the meaning of existence. Though Alex relaxes in the peaceful mountain village setting and enjoys the company of the others, he unfortunately can't overcome his writer's block and feels funny about his sexual attraction for Monica. Deciding to go home early, Alex agrees to first accompany the others on a camping trip to the Pyrenees.  On the mountain hike the possible romance between the violinist and filmmaker becomes real but goes unfinished like the script, as after the camping trip the two would-be lovers go their separate ways.

Though nothing seems to be happening, the actors perform so well that they let us feel their inner joys and pains by their subtle expressions. The well-crafted film has small ambitions, but ably gets across its theme about how difficult it is to find the meaning of life if one isn't inwardly centered.

REVIEWED ON 11/10/2014       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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