La ví en Argentina y me gustó tanto que me la compré aquí
justin miller | oakland, ca USA | 05/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a terrific movie. It is the story of a family whose wealthy patriarch is dying in a Paris hospital. As his family arrives from Spain and Argentina to be by side in his final days, one of the sons uncovers a secret that has been guarded well by the father for years. The plot addresses themes such as European fascism, homosexuality, and family unity. Wonderful performances are given by Leonardo Sbaraglia, Geraldine Chaplin, and Fernando Fernán Gómez. Os recomiendo que la compréis."
Confusion Masks Reality: Sorting Out the Mystery
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 11/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maximillian Martin is an elderly Spanish gentleman who is hospitalized in Paris in an ultramodern high tech hospital ... where each patient resides in a two or three room suite while undergoing tests and procedures or recovery from an illness or surgery ... His son Victor and girlfriend Eileen from Argentina arrive at Charles DeGaul Airport where they are met by Alberto another son and his wife Carmen and Luis, Max's third son. The family is gathering to support Max during this difficult time when he has been diagnosed with brain cancer and is preparing for brain surgery.
Victor keeps company with his dad at the hospital and listens closely when his dad rambles about needing to leave the hospital ... to find Rancel. He provides Victor a key to a secret apartment in Paris which his dad had owned for 40 years and also gives him a button which will verify to Rancel that Victor is who he says he is ... Victor is puzzled by his dad's rambling and mentions some of it to his mom. Later, he sees his mom, Marie berating his dad and begins to wonder if maybe she is hiding something from him, holding back information or misdleading him. There are some fascinating family dynamics within the story. For example, Luis who divorced his wife is making love to his mistress (who used to be the nanny to their children) and the exwife makes a loud scene at the hotel about their relationship causing other guests to come out into the corridor to find out what all the noise is about. Victor has been having an affair with Carmen, the wife of his brother Alberto but Eileen understands (so she says). Eileen is completely aware of this, declares her love for him but lays down an ultimatum, he must make up his mind whether or not he will marry her. Essentially he must choose between Carmen or Eileen ...
Victor helps his dad escape from the hospital for a few hours and they roam Paris, looking for the address his dad needed to find. Max is looking for "The Fountain" and is seriously distressed when it is not where he believed it was. After returning to the hospital, Victor discovers a book written by Rancel with a title that begins to make sense out of his dad's ramblings. The biography for Rancel as written on the jacket inside cover begins to put things together for Victor and he suspects his mom has been lying to him. Victor tries to find Rancel, the author ... Victor learns Rancel and his dad were Communists 40 years ago and both were supposed to meet at a railroad station. His dad did not show up but Rancel did and was arrested, imprisoned for 10 years. Max felt guilty for Rancel's imprisonment, yet he never visited him in prison. He wanted to make peace with this aspect of his life ... The story and plot are mysterious as the pieces of the puzzle come together and add some surprises which twist and turn the ending into a very fitting conclusion. This is a highly recommended film for mystery fans who love a good thrill ... Erika Borsos (pepper flower)"
A story about absolution ...
Sharad Yadav | 08/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderfully different movie that addresses a complex emotional theme in a very creative manner. The story revolves around a large upscale Spanish family. Fernando Fernán Gómez plays the part of patriarch, who is diagnosed with Cancer. However, he is a reluctant patient and secretly flushes his medicines in the toilet. He is extremely paranoid about a candid conspiracy and talks incoherently about a fountain, a train, a city with no limits and a person called Rancel. This behavior forces his family member to believe that his mind is going senile. He finds some support in his youngest son, Victor (the very talented, Leonardo Sbaraglia).
Suspiciously, the symptoms of his father's cancer are not very distinctly obvious and yet his wife Geraldine Chaplin) and other two sons insist on him getting operated. They seem to be running with an ulterior motive of closing a big business deal.
Victor is very close to his father and decides to unearth the seemingly fictitious Rancel. Some clever investigation leads him to Rancel, who is a famous novelist and had been an underground republican during the troubled Spanish times. Rancel and Victor's father were planning a covert escape, but Victor's father backed out at the last moment (motivated by Victor's mother) leading to Rancel's arrest and incarceration. Victor's father couldn't forgive himself for quisling and lead a life of repent. He wants to relive the moment and save Rancel from getting incarcerated. Victor helps his father touch absolution before his death. The father-child relationship is very touching.
Each character in the movie has his/her own little story that has been mingled with the main storyline to perfection. Victor, himself is fighting a little battle between temptation (his brother's wife) and self-righteousness. His choosing the correct self-righteous path has been depicted in a very subtle manner.
The story, cinematography, acting and background score, have all been woven to near perfection by the director. Impressive stuff!!"
Highly suspenseful Spanish-Argentine co-production with a Pa
Penumbra | Atlanta, GA USA | 06/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I resisted this movie for a long time because the little I had heard about it, a family gathering around the bedside of the terminally ill father, sounded maudlin and uninteresting. However, after watching it, I have to say I found "En la ciudad sin límites" to be an excellent film.
The youngest son, Victor, is the only member of the large extended family who is more interested in his father's well being and peace of mind than in the possibility of a large inheritance. The dying man is suffering a bit of dementia and in his mind he is reliving events that occurred 40 years earlier when he was a member of a Communist cell hiding out in Paris to avoid retribution from the Franco government. There is genuine suspense and tension as Victor tries to make sense of his father's ramblings. He uncovers some long buried secrets as he works to resolve the mystery.
The entire cast is wonderful, but Leonardo Sbaraglia is the standout as Victor. (This film reunites Sbaraglia with his former "Plata Quemada" co-star, Leticia Brédice.) Fernando Fernán Gómez manages to be both aggravating and pathetic as the father, Max. Geraldine Chaplin, does an excellent job as Max's cold-hearted wife, Marie.
The DVD features include scene selection; language options for either the original Spanish soundtrack in 5.1 Dolby Digital or a dubbed English soundtrack in stereo; subtitles are available in either English or Spanish. If you want to get the nuances of the actors' skills listen to the Spanish audio and use the English subtitles. Avoid the dubbed version - it sounds ridiculous. Not only does the English audio have all the emotional impact of an old "Speed Racer" cartoon, it's very abbreviated; even the subtitles convey more of the story line.