Solas

"Very Good"

Solas Review


There are many causes of poverty -- birth, bad luck, bad choices, mistrust of one's neighbors, or a combination of these. All of these factors have conspired to place María (Ana Fernández ) in a miserable life. María, the youngest of four children, has moved to an unnamed city in southern Spain to escape the poverty and illiteracy of her parents' rural town -- becoming estranged from her family in the process.

As one of the countless workers living in the city slums, María has nothing but contempt for her mother and her past, even though she has not done better with her life. But when María's father (a bully who keeps María from attending college and treats her mother like property) is hospitalized in the city and her mother is forced to stay in María's apartment for some weeks, María is forced to appreciate her mother and face her own shortcomings.

While María's troubles and her obsession with her own poverty could have made for a one-dimensional screed, writer/director Zambrano chooses to focus the camera on acts of humanity and generosity (which are most important among the poor). María insists that "everyone just looks after their own pocket," but all around her are exceptions, especially María's elderly neighbor (Carlos Álvarez-Novoa, who currently appears in Lucia, Lucia). The story ultimately narrows to focus on the friendship of María and the neighbor, and the film derives most of its punch from the powerful performances of Fernández and Álvarez-Novoa.

The acting in Solas is strong throughout. Álvarez-Novoa gives a perfect portrayal of an old man maintaining dignity in the face of age and loneliness. Paco De Osca, who plays María's father, manages to take a bad human being with little depth and no redeeming qualities and make him understandable, if not a sympathetic character.

Though not much fun to watch, Solas is an effective and believable portrayal of individuals struggling against the endemic poverty of Spain. There are many causes of misery in life, but as the film's ending makes clear, there are also unexpected sources of redemption.

Aka Alone.



Solas

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th March 1999

Distributed by: Samuel Goldwyn

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Madre, as María, Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa as Vecino, as Juan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.