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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.