Leap Year

"Very Good"

Leap Year Review


From Mexico, this bold and yet subtle film is so bracingly realistic that at times we begin worrying about the central actress. Without ever making things easy for us, it also has a lot to say about modern life in a big city.

Laura (del Carmen) is a freelance journalist who lives in quiet isolation, barely spending time with anyone else. But she tells her little brother (Zapata) that her life is full of friends. And she lies to everyone else as well. When her loneliness gets too much, she dresses up and heads out to pick up another one night stand for soulless sex. Then one man (Parra) becomes a regular visitor and, as their encounters get more twisted and obsessive, Laura's demands get increasingly intense.

The story takes place over the month of February in a leap year, and Laura counts down the days to the 29th with a mix of expectation and dread. We learn later on what this day means for her, but the film's main strength is in the way it captures the details of her mundane life. It's so dull and sometimes seedy that it's uncomfortable to watch, and yet the raw honesty holds our attention, anchored by a staggeringly authentic performance from del Carmen.

The camera rarely leaves Laura's flat, so what we see of her life is extremely limited, which gives the film a claustrophobic quality. This vividly conveys the sometimes overpowering feeling of seclusion of living in a crowded place.

Laura's compulsive lying doesn't help her situation, although it may make her feel better about her monotonous life. And in a way we can see why she tries to spice up her sex life with danger and even violence.

We also get subtle glimpses of her family situation, the pain of grief after the death of her father and a pang of betrayal from her mother. None of this is defined in great detail, but we see the emotions flicker across Laura's face in a way that lets us understand her actions. And despite some slightly pushy plotting, we can vividly see ourselves in her shoes. Which is no mean feat.



Leap Year

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th January 2010

Box Office USA: $25.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $29.9M

Budget: $19M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures/Spyglass

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 21%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 103

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Michael Rowe

Producer: Edher Campos, Luis Salinas

Starring: as Anna, as Declan, as Jeremy, as Jack Brady, Flaminia Cinque as Carla, as Frank, Pat Laffan as Donal, as Priest, as Bride, as Libby, Michael J. Reynolds as Jerome, Michael Ford-FitzGerald as Fergus, Vincenzo Nicoli as Stefano, Marcia Warren as Adele

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