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Carretera Secundarias (Back Roads) (DVD) (2004) (REGION 1) (NTSC) (US Import)

Antonio Resines , Fernanado Ramallo , Emilio Martinez-Lazaro    DVD

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Nominated for 2 Goya awards (Spanish Oscars) , this entertaining drama begins during the final days of the regime of General Franco. Two men, a father and son, have their lives drastically changed when escaping from their past they move to a small town in the interior of Spain, where an exuberant and beautiful girl (Maribel Verdu - Lovers, Y Tu Mama Tambien) catches their eye, forcing them to reflect on their own personalities and how they came to be living a gypsy life so far from home.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gently Beautiful Little Film with a Grand Story 5 Oct 2004
By Grady Harp - Published on
CARRETERAS SECUNDARIAS won many awards in 1997 when it was released in Spain, including some Goyas. Surprisingly it never made an impression in theatres there. But this is one of those sleeper movies that should be viewed by everyone who not only enjoys a good story well told, but also those who want to understand Spain in the final days of Franco's rule. There is much to be said about the delicacy in which director Emilio Martinez Lazaro has adapted the novel by Ignacio Martinez di Pison, electing to underplay the class differences between those born to wealth and the poor people of Spain: in this film less is said and more is felt.

Lozano (a brilliant performance by Antonio Resines) leads a gypsy life with his son Felipe (anther feather in Fernando Ramallo's cap and resume) since the death of his wife, apparently a woman his wealthy family never approved of and hence disinherited Lozano. The two try to keep up appearances of having 'class' when in effect they are destitute. Lozano's pride never falters as he sees himself as an Impresario to Estrella (Miriam Diaz Aroca of 'Belle Epoque'), a would-be opera singer who finally leaves Lozano for another man who promises a better career. Disillusioned, Lozano and Felipe hit the road and encounter a beauty named Paquita (Maribel Verdu whose many screen credits include 'Goya in Bordeaux', 'Belle Epoque') who herself is poor but understands survival. The three of them take off on money making schemes and a gypsy life that has its hilarious moments as well as moments of great tenderness. Along the way Felipe discovers passion, coming of age, and his first introduction to women through his sharing the love-generous Paquita with his father. Felipe encounters more of life in a student uprising against Franco's regime, falls in love with the daughter of an American soldier based in Zaragoza, and tastes the reality of becoming a man without direction, career, or ancestry. One of the trio's con games finally catches up with them and Lozano is jailed. The ending is a wonderful surprise and provides one of the more beautiful father/son relationship explorations on film. The photography is magnificent and if the musical score by Roque Banos is a bit overly grand, blame is on appropriation from Ravel et al! This is a terrific film and deserves as much attention in this country as it garnered in Spain. In Spanish with English subtitles.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Father-Son Road Trip 4 July 2007
By Roger W. Macdonald-evoy - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I truly enjoyed this movie, as it was a refreshing break from your typical Hollywood fare. The box cover art is most likely designed to entice the many worldwide fans of Maribel Verdu, which are legion. Her entry seems rather late into the film even though her role is crucial as is that of Miriam Diaz Aroca playing the part of Estrella.

This is a father-son, coming to grips with each other and themselves road trip film. Antonio Resines plays the father who has some deep secrets and obsessions while he strives to make a buck in some rather odd ways. His son Felipe played by Fernando Ramallo is becoming a man and discovering all the faults of his father and his fathers past at the same time.

Even though the film was nominated for two Goya Awards, it is fairly apparent why it didn't win any. The movie for me was still as I said before fun to watch and better than most of what the American screen has to offer on any given day.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars watch HBO or Cinemax 12 Sep 2007
By Charlie Tuna - Published on
If you like this type of movie (and I do)you'll get more excitement from a T&A late show on cable. Rent it and see if you agree.
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