Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: María Galiana, Ana Fernández, Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa, Antonio Dechent, Paco De Osca
Director: Benito Zambrano
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests
A powerful and touching story of love and redemption, Solas is a drama of Spanish women whose emotional life is as rich as their surroundings are poor. Maria is a beautiful but troubled woman adrift in a nameless city in s... more »
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Outstanding film; technically horrible dvd
Bob Torres | 09/04/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Solas" is -- hands down -- an outstanding film that paints a realistic portrait of some of the contemporary issues in Spanish culture. This version of the DVD, however, is totally worthless. For one, the presentation is a poorly mastered 4:3, with a large, distracting black bar running along one side of the screen. The sound is nothing special (2 channel), and it is impossible to turn off the subtitles, which is annoying if you speak Spanish and don't want to look at them. There are no extras beyond a few trailers. Overall, this DVD does not do this incredible film justice, especially when you factor in its relatively high cost. This is an unfortunate delivery system for a brilliant film."
Bitterness challenged by tenderness!
Rizzo | Denver, CO | 09/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Directed and written by Benito Zambrano, this 1999 Solas, which means alone, is an award winning Spanish film.
One important item to note, the picture of a woman and man about to kiss, on the DVD cover, doesn't in any way, reflect the movie content. This isn't a happy boy meets girl love story. It is about a young 30ish woman, bitter, an alcoholic and thief who lives in a poor side of town. And it is about her mother. Nowhere in the movie did this image appear.
The story opens when her dear elderly mother arrives from the village to be with her abusive, domineering husband who is recuperating in the hospital. Mother must stay in daughter Maria's apartment. We soon learn Maria's attitude differs greatly from her caring mother. Maria has a callous attitude about her father and isn't concerned about him. Little is known about the father and he speaks little while in the hospital. He is verbally abusive and carries the same bitterness that his daughter has.
Between the visits to the hospital and staying in the apartment building, the mother befriends an old lonely neighbor and his dog. The mother is honored by his kindness and respect, something her own husband never gave. She cares tenderly about the elderly man and he is overcome with her companionship.
Meanwhile, Maria's life is disappointing, hanging out at the bars, becomes pregnant, continues to smoke, and drink strong alcohol. Her boyfriend is a selfish, uncaring man who orders an abortion. With such a destructive life, we can't see a good home for the baby.
Then, soon, we get a glimpse of Maria's attitude changing toward her mother. Relationships and situations change, as does life. It is a saddened film where we can only hope for some good for some characters, and we dislike some others. ....This is an excellent drama.
Subtitles are clear to read. However, like most Spanish directed films, there remains foul language and an offensive scene that doesn't overshadow the great plot. ......MzRizz
The story is a tragic one, but told wonderfully.
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 03/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately rather overlooked as this film came out the same year as Almodóvar's `Todo Sobre mi Madre' (All about my Mother) this went on to reach fame and glory. However, if you liked Almodóvar's excellent drama you will also like `Solas'. The two films have certain similarities inasmuch that also in `Solas' the accent is very much on strong characterization, profound human feelings, though perhaps a little less intense here than in Almodóvar's film.
"Solas" spends its 100 minute run digging deep into the character of Ana Fernández (Maria), who is magnificent, playing just right the rather confused, unlucky thirty-five year old young woman a bit given to alcohol, not overplaying her part; that bears the scars of childhood abuse at the hands of her father, drinks too much, and works as a janitor. María Galiana as her mother shows even at her age that she has come from good theatre, as no less does Carlos Álvarez-Novoa as the lonely neighbor.
Benito Zembrano - as Almodóver - , not only directs his film but is also responsible for the script, which is truly magnificent, especially taking into account certain Andalucian styles of speech. The Andalucian accent may at times cause a bit of a problem if you know Spanish a fair amount and watch this film without any subtitles. Try it, anyway: it is well worth the effort. An excellent piece of drama which certainly deserves more recognition than it has got. An award winning film hailed by the critics and an exemplar for American Indie makers, "Solas" will appeal most to more mature audiences.
Curiously both films end with a remarkably similar dedication at the end: `A mi madre; a todas las madres' - To my mother; To all mothers.