Spanish Affair (8 Apellidos Vascos)

Synopsis

Nothing should have happened between them, yet as Rafael finds himself abandoned by Amaia, his one night stand and the “love of his life,”he decides to leave his hometown and embark on a journey to win her love. What he doesn’t know yet is that this girl is not as easy to woo as he initially thought.

Review

Spanish Affair  encompasses various aspects of a romantic film through the clever usage of humor and cultural customs. Throughout the film we can see the protagonists’ struggle to maintain a reliable version of their made up reality and how this can sometimes cloud their emotions and judgement.The concept of infatuation and the effects that society’s pressure can have on the success or failure of a relationship are also brilliantly highlighted, especially in the scenes where close family/friends are present.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Spanish Chorizo!!

Outstanding Performances

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 6.03.07 PM.pngDani Rovira: Rafael is definitely my favorite character in this film. Rovira’s facial expressions, exaggerated mannerisms and made-up accents enhance his performance and screen chemistry with the audience.  Of course, his portrayal also allows for the film to maintain the witty and sarcastic vibe this story depends on.

Clara Lago : Amaia’s character, on the other hand, is perhaps the most intriguing one in this film. The reason for this is that Lago’s strong yet vulnerable portrayal seduces the audience into completely endorsing her decisions. In fact, its almost like you can’t blame Amaia for wanting to maintain the image and expectations her father seemingly has for her.

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Carmen Machi: Merche’s maternal love for Rafael is one of the most endearing aspects of the film. Machi’s easy demeanor and extremely loyal portrayal of her character, allows the audience to easily fall in love with her quirkiness. As if that wasn’t all, she proves to be a very essential advocate of a relationship that would absolutely be deemed undesirable by Koldo if he knew the truth.

Karra Elejalde: Koldo is definitely the character that the audiences will have a blast with. Although it is true that Elejalde’s portrayal often focuses on a serious or strict demeanor, the character’s sudden dead pan comedic comments can often overshadow Rovira’s purposely hilarious portrayal of Raphael.

– PopNach

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Suicide (Hitabdut)

Synopsis

As a successful lawyer, Dafna has often used questionable tactics to win her clients’ cases. In fact, she uses these same tactics while being held at the police station as a primary suspect of her husband’s suicide/murder. But can Dafna get herself out of the station before more damage is done? Or is the mere fact that she is a suspect enough to guarantee danger to all those she loves?

Review

Suicide is an action thriller that explores the limits we are willing to overcome in order to ensure the safety of our loved ones. The film is able to do this through continuous time lapses that allows us to understand, without judgement, why Dafna makes the decisions she makes. In fact, this film is a clear testament that sometimes it is easier to analyse the reasoning behind an action after it has already been done.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Ice Cream!!

Outstanding Performances

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Dror Keren: Romi is a very tenacious detective whose intellect can often cloud his judgement. Keren’s portrayal of him as a snarky, sassy, and sarcastic individual with a quirky charm and charisma inevitably attracts the audience. Nonetheless, it is actually his adamant desire to solve the case that really makes him an outstanding character.

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Mali Levi: Dafna’s cold and often condescending personality allows her to easily manipulate and piss off even the worst of the loan-shark villains. Levi’s interpretation of her is captivating and exemplary because it shows a woman who is strong and capable of solving problems in highly strenuous situations, without having to succumb to the stereotypical dramatic emotions often assigned to female characters in movies and literature.

– PopNach

Viva

Synopsis

Cuba’s economic turmoil forces Jesús to pursue his life-long dream of becoming a Drag Queen. His estranged father’s sudden appearance however, hinders his ability to continue to explore his passion. Nevertheless, hope resurfaces as destiny pushes him to choose between doing what he loves, or continue to suppress his identity.

Review

Viva exceptionally highlights the need to embrace our identities regardless of our loved ones’ perception of who we should be. The importance of moral support, self-preservation and emotional intelligence is also further emphasised by the film’s intense portrayal of toxic relationships and its effects on all aspects of our health. Overall, the story that is illustrated serves to remind each and everyone of us that it is never too late to pursue our dreams and/or to help a friend fulfill their dreams as well.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Rum!!

Outstanding Performances

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Luis Alberto García: Society tends to define maternal love as the only type of love capable of unconditional caring and forgiveness. Perhaps, this is why García’s character was named Mama. Whatever the reason, his portrayal of raw emotion and passion further enhanced his performance as a whole and, undoubtedly, made us raise our expectations towards those that claim to be our supporters, “no matter what.”

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Héctor Medina: Jesús easily found his way into our hearts throughout the film thanks to his kind and honorable intentions. As he continued to develop his character however, Medina was able to engrave him into our minds as a paramount role model for those of us who constantly ignore the skills and talents that reside within us – especially when we try to stifle them with our own insecurities.

– PopNach

Blind Date

Synopsis

Her life consisted of discipline, order and music. His, on the other hand, was filled with creativity, isolation and silence. Their carefully crafted lives however, are put to the test when she moves into the apartment next door. Which of course makes us wonder: can music and silence coexist with a non-soundproof wall separating them?

Review

Blind Date is a comedic film that defies the parameters of traditional dating by proposing a modern definition which consists of an invisible, yet ever-present, partner. This concept emphasises our freedom to embrace how we truly are – without the need to extremely adapt. It is a marvellous yet flawed concept that creates an undeniable positive effect on both protagonists since they are able to openly learn about each other without the need to follow society’s relationship standards.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Risotto!!

Outstanding Performances

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Clovis Cornillac: Although perceived by others as an antisocial asshole genius, Machin’s humor, deep-insight and overall blunt personality allows the audience to perceive him as lovable. Of course, Cornillac’s performance is further enhanced by his sarcastic expressions, truly caring intentions and sudden rash actions. Needless to say, Machin is without a doubt my favorite character in the film.

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Mélanie Bernier: Machine’s disciplined talent has often restrained her potential to become not only a professional pianist, but also one of the greatest. Thanks to her natural endurance and Machin’s persistent guidance however, she is able to tap into possibilities she never considered achievable before. Bernier’s interpretation of Machine is fun, sweet and spunky. After all, there is more than meets the eye with this sweetheart.

– PopNach

Begin Again

Synopsis

On a day that was supposed to be like any other yet was full of awful surprises, Dan and Gretta accidentally cross each others paths. Although their meeting is strange, Dan quickly realizes Gretta is the answer to his prayers and is adamant about making her see it too. In fact with a little bit of help from destiny, music and luck – they might be able to follow their dreams and, hopefully, create some new ones along the way.

Review

Begin Again is an innovative film that explores the causes, effects and costs of fame. Its focus on the raw emotions that overcome us when dealing with the troubles in our lives really emphasizes the importance of expression and collaboration not only with our peers but also with our surroundings. Furthermore, the story provides a fantastic insight into discovering, expanding and sharing our talents – even when we are scared shitless.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Beer!!

Outstanding Performances

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James Corden: Most of us are used to seeing Corden driving around while singing karaoke with celebrities, yet if you are like me, this was the first time we  saw him acting in a movie. Needless to say, I was expecting him to be his usual hilarious self, yet was very impressed with his kind and caring character Steve. In fact, there were definitely some very touching scenes that portrayed his friendship with Gretta and gave wonderful bffs feels.

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Mark Ruffalo:  Although initially unsure about his casting as Dan, I was extremely amazed by Ruffalo’s performance in this film. Dan’s reliance on alcohol barely allowed him to live a decent life yet, as the story unfolds, the viewers are able to glance at some of the layers that make him who and how he is. The most beautiful aspect of Dan however is not his past or even his future possibilities – it’s actually his self discovery and the fact that we get to witness it being played out on the screen. 

Keira Knightley: Honestly, what can’t Knightley do? To say that she is an outstanding versatile performer is an understatement. Now, add to that a raw yet beautiful singing voice plus a free spirit and you might just get a little closer in defining the many facets of this espectacular actress. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that she is absolutely phenomenal in Pride & Prejudice, one of my most cherished films, I would say this was my favorite film with her as a protagonist. However, as a result this would be my second one 🙂

– PopNach

Today’s Special

Synopsis

After working a couple of years as a sous chef, Samir decides to quit and go to Paris in search of better opportunities as a Chef. Following a family emergency however, he is unexpectedly put in charge of his father’s Indian restaurant and forced to rediscover his heritage. Little does he know that this change of path will enhance his cooking and of course – his life.

Review

Today’s Special is a feel good movie for those of us that are foodies and/or fanciful of comedies. With its charming humor and relatable characters, the story is easy to follow, remember and share with others. Overall, the message it delivers is wonderfully uplifting and full of surprises, something I am sure you will enjoy – trust me :)!

*The recommended snack for this film is: Papadum!!

Outstanding Performances

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Naseeruddin Shah: Not many would be able to pull of the character of Akbar, the free spirited taxi-driver wanderer, and much less be remembered as a wiseman. Shah’s interpretation however leaves no room for forgetting. In fact, his easy demeanour, hilarious one-liners and intriguing sagacity actually make him a crucial factor of Samir’s story development.

– PopNach

7th Floor (Séptimo)

Synopsis

A game between Sebastian and his children ends in suspense after the children suddenly disappear from the apartment complex they reside in. Conscious of the lack of time he has before the kidnappers decide to hurt them, Sebastian uses all the skills and resources available to him – sometimes even breaking the law he, as a lawyer, has sworn to abide by.

Review

7th Floor is a fantastic thriller that feeds off the viewer’s anxiousness and the main character’s unpredictable, and often, aggressive behavior.  The film’s focus on Sebastian’s perception of trust, as he constantly questions the possibility of those around him being involved, allows us to be empathetic with a more lenient attitude towards some of his illegal actions.  At the same time, the story provides us with an interesting look into an individual’s mind and it’s ability to determine that whats wrong or right depends on the circumstances.

*The recommended snack for this film is: Coffee!!

Outstanding Performances

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Ricardo Darín: Darín’s interpretation of Sebastian can be described as phenomenal and at times obsessive. In fact, although the audience is aware of the circumstances that are making him unpredictable, there are a few moments where the only visible emotion is his madness.

– PopNach