Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Take My Eyes|
Actors: Laia Marull, Luis Tosar, Candela Peña, Rosa Maria Sardà, Kiti Manver
Director: Icíar Bollaín
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Beginning as an edge-of-your-seat noir thriller, a terrified Pilar hastily flees in the middle of the night with her young son as if her life depends on it. Reaching her Sister Ana?s house, Pilar breaks down in turmoil. Ba... more »
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A Spanish Award Winner--"Take My Eyes" Is A Thoughtful, Inte
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 11/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having never even heard of the Spanish film "Take My Eyes," I did a little research prior to watching it. I was amazed to see that it had actually won many international film prizes. It swept the Goya Awards (Spain's equivalent to the Oscar) in 2004, picking up Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Screenplay. Stateside, Luis Tosar even picked up Best Actor at the Seattle International Film Festival. Suitably impressed with this pedigree, I went into "Take My Eyes."
"Take My Eyes" is an intimate story of domestic abuse. It was particularly noteworthy in Spain where most domestic violence is unreported. It's not an "open" topic for discussion and not nearly as publicized there as it is in other countries. The story that it presents is one that American audiences are all too familiar with--and it breaks no new ground plotwise. What it does offer, however, are great performances and an earnest attempt to depict all sides of the situation.
Laia Marull is extremely potent and believable as the lead. She plays the faithful wife--and her love for her husband is just as well established as her fear. As she struggles to rebuild her life--you see her hope, optimism and happiness blossom. But you also see devastation and betrayal and finally hatred. It's an emotional tour de force. But where this film is unique and special is in the husband's character played by Luis Tosar. He is not a stock villain. He is sympathetic to a large degree as he honestly loves his wife but is unable to control his anger. Much of the film centers on his attempt to rehabilitate himself with therapy. I really appreciated this even handed approach. It was thoughtful and intelligent.
Seek this film out. It's a sensitive and astute portrait of one particular relationship. With strong performances and intelligent writing, this is a story that will stay with you. KGHarris, 11/06."
Spousal Abuse: A Horrifyingly Real Story of the Consequences
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"TE DOY MIS OJOS (Take My Eyes) is a blisteringly real examination of spousal abuse - the etiology, the mechanisms, the concept of co-dependency, and the high rate of recidivism - all bound together in a brilliant screenplay by Alicia Luna and director Icíar Bollaín. It won many Goyas (read Oscars) in Spain and for good reason: this is a powerful film about an indelicate subject from a country (Spain) not usually comfortable discussing much less film such issues.
Pilar (Laia Marull) and her son Juan (Nicolás Fernández Luna) live in a small apartment with husband/father Antonio (Luis Tosar), a small section of hell where daily Antonio abuses Pilar with an uncontrollable anger. Pilar and Juan leave one night to live with Pilar's soon to be married sister Ana (Candela Peña) and fiance, a Scotsman John (David Mooney). Ana encourages Pilar to divorce the abusive Antonio but Pilar is frightened, fearing she has no means of support and admitting that there are parts of Antonio she still loves. Complicating Pilar's thinking is her mother Aurora (the fine Rosa Maria Sardà) who tries to underplay the problem by insisting that all marriages have their little problems! Antonio stalks Pilar, pleading for her to return, but every encounter results in a flair-up of Antonio's abusive behavior. Pilar finds a menial job at the museum in Toledo, a position she loves and soon is training to become a guide, loving speaking tot he public about art. Antonio agrees to seek help for his behavioral problems and enters group therapy and private therapy (Sergi Calleja) and begins bringing flowers and gifts and constant attention to Ana, hoping to have her return home. And return Ana does, with Juan, and with some newfound sense of self worth form her position at the museum. But as soon as Ana is 'home' a horrifying incident occurs and she gathers the strength to see the relationship clearly and respond correctly.
The cast of actors is brilliant, the pacing of the film keeps the viewer on seat's edge, the cinematography by Carles Gusi captures the magic of Toledo, Spain, the musical score by Alberto Iglesias is first rate classical writing, and the amount of information about a little understood problem is an additional reward that accompanies this superb film. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles and the DVD adds a featurette that further examines a treatment center for abusive men feels like a much needed public service ploy. This is one of those films that would be easy to ignore because of the subject matter, but that is a real reason to view it - in addition to the fact that it is such a fine work of art. Grady Harp, March 07
An accurate depiction of domestic violence!
Don Julio | Portland, OR | 10/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie provides an accurate depiction of the struggles a woman makes to seek a life of mutuality and respect while living with a man consumed by his own insecurities and need for power and control."
Original and touching !
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The thousand and thousand cases of familiar violence that we know are not but the iceberg's point. How many hidden cases do really exist at this moment?
This bold film focuses around a typical case of excessive abuse, evident physical violence and mental cruelty exerted by (Can we design this human being a man?) this extremely fearful, visibly dangerous, potential murder and weak mind husband who considers his wife as a possession and enjoyment personal, a simple furniture who may be disposed to clean, cook and make love to satisfy him exclusively. He is far to understand any relationship according this distorted approach only can generate fear and mortal silence, that eventually can become in a time bomb, able to explode anytime.
After you leave the hall, think about and make memory around your social environment. You will ever find weird behavior in many people you knew, in your workplace, in your University classroom (and I do not only mean students but teachers too, as I personally had), AA, distorted behavior patterns that you hardly could understand because you were fortunately living out of that oppressive atmosphere.
A top-notch to watch over and over and a magnificent pretext to initiate open and sincere conferences and discussions around the world about this issue, that pitifully goes on generating serious and unexpected emotional responses in human beings who eventually can reach elevated positions in several power spheres.
Remarkable performances by all cast. Spain is a true nest of promising talents.
Laia Marull (Pilar) and Luis Tosar (Antoinio) won deservedly , the prizes of Best Actress and Best Actor in San Sebastian Film Festival 2003.
An outstanding film. Do not miss.!
And don't forget to Laia, the most prominent actress in years.