When a wedding celebration erupts in tragedy, old wounds and long grudges bubble to the surface in this riveting mystery from master filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, with Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz.
Laura (Penélope Cruz) has returned from Argentina with her young daughter and small son to attend her sister’s wedding in the rural spanish village where she grew up. Her husband couldn’t make the trip, but she’s greeted by both her large family and her old boyfriend Paco (a smoldering Javier Bardem), a former land worker in the service of her father who now runs the vineyard that once belonged to the family. The festivities commence as old flirtations resurface. But the jubilee is cut short when it is discovered that Laura’s daughter has been drugged and taken during the evening, prompting a town-wide manhunt that shatters the community. With Paco by her side every step of the way, Laura must contend with a resurgence of family secrets long thought buried as she races to find her daughter before it’s too late. In competent hands, this film would make for an incredibly taut thriller, but when approached by the expert eye of Asghar Farhadi, notorious for layering his characters with complex moral dilemmas that offer no easy answers in such masterpieces as A SEPARATION and THE SALESMAN, this compelling drama escalates into a searing treatise on the nature of personal responsibility, loyalty, and compassion and a person’s limits on each. Farhadi’s skilled sense of balance is always on display, ratcheting the tension of the developing story like a finely-tuned vice, all while subtly mining the depths of each character’s spirit and grappling with the grand issues of the human condition. With the aid of his gorgeously used setting and an impeccably toned set of textured performances, Farhadi has concocted the rare sophisticated adult drama; a powerful story with something greater on its mind.
CAST: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín
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