Thursday, June 23, 2011
LEAP YEAR (Año bisiesto), she seems an odd choice for the lead character in a film about an unusual sexual relationship. She appears to work as some sort of "reporter," has an oddly distant phone relationship with her mother, is quite close to her brother, enjoys looking surreptitiously down at her elderly neighbors' patio and -- as we soon learn -- is given to relatively anonymous one-night-stands with men whom she brings home after tarting herself up for an evening out.
Lucia Carreras), Michael Rowe, is shown at left. Even as a bottle-blond, he looks darkly handsome enough to have been an actor, but evidently he chose film-making instead. Leap Year, his first endeavor, is by any standard a very good movie. Its subject matter (a sexual affair that turns heavily sadistic/masochistic) and its visual handling of that subject matter (full-frontal, no holds barred) almost guaran-tees that the film will cause attention and create a buzz. And yet Rowe's storytelling style -- carefully obser-ved and quietly told -- helps makes even the heavy-duty sex scenes surprisingly real and, most important, deeply, genuinely (and often uncomfortably) "felt."
Monica del Carmen. Ms del Carmen, above and above, brings us up so close to the details of Laura's life and to her needs and desires, that we go right along with it all, up until... This actress also gives one of the most arousing performances, sexually speaking, that I have ever seen. Clothed, she's perfectly presentable (except perhaps when seen picking her nose); unclothed and in heat, she is simply extraordinary. She lets down not just the nudity barrier, but the one that usually covers the soul.
Gustavo Sánchez Parra (above) from La misma luna, My Mexican Shivah and Casi divas) maintains just the right balance of secrecy combined with a yearning for intimacy. As crazy sexually as these two get, they never lose their humanity. Consequently, we want the best for them, even as we live in fear of what that "best" might be.
Leap Year (which is not to be confused with that Amy Adams/Matthew Goode movie of the same name, also made in 2010), from Strand Releasing, in Spanish with English subtitles, opens tomorrow, Friday, June 24, in New York City at the Cinema Village. And elsewhere, soon, I hope.