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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 31 August 2009
What is life, who are we,why are we here? questions that loom large in the life of the lonely, the awkward, the shy,the sat upon, the marginal,whose role is to play losers. Marina(Suarez), one of life's losers, friendless with selfish relatives, is handed a winning ticket out of isolation. As an employee at a local factory in Mexico City, she wins an all-expenses-paid holiday for two from her work. She can go alone..but it is for two. Although initially unable to find someone to accompany her, she encounters Victor(Arreota) in a coffee bar. He says he knows her from school, but she can't remember him or any of their school colleague's. Her invite to join her on the trip prompts a series of dates that are by turns funny and awkward. Their attempt to get to know each other is painful, melancholic,realistic,wistfully humourous. She wear the uniform of a relationship for a package deal made for two, all the time the threads are unravelling as she picks at the gaps in the partnership and the private unrelated self shimmers in the gaps. Don't get me wrong, this is a beautifully made film with excellent cinematography in a washed-out Mexico City,the leads impeccably acted. As to the result I'll leave you to see. There is soundtrack of Ray Davies, Sebastian Schuller which is tasteful and a symbolical use of birds, caged and otherwise. See.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2009
Blue Eyelids (Párpados Azules) is the charming debut from Mexican director Ernesto Contreras. It begins with an elderly woman called Lulita telling us about the last time she had a chance for happiness, offered to her by a magical bird. Lulita also owns the clothing company where Marina (Cecilia Suárez) works, who wins the workplace lottery for a dream holiday for two to Playa Salamandra. The problem is Marina lives on her own and has few friends to ask to join her on the trip. A chance encounter with Victor (Enrique Arreola) in a bakery, who recognises Marina from school, changes the situation.

Thus begins an 'anti-romantic comedy' (as described by Contreras), where, in the absence of passionate conversation and laughter, awkwardness and small details are elevated to dramatic heights. Both Marina and Victor have been loners for a long time, and live quiet lives where seemingly little happens. This is where Contreras portrays them without judgement, letting them live out their private moments in front of the camera.

The joy for me in this film is in the silences and the unspoken moments - for me it is romantic, but certainly not in any cliched way. The motif of a Ray Davies song ('This Strange Effect', sung by Dave Berry), 'You've got this strange effect on me/ And I like it/ You make my world seem right/ You make my darkness bright', says everything that Marina and Victor are not saying (but you can imagine them feeling or thinking). Even the picnic they go on, by a busy road near an airport is made vivid by the details observed - Marina picks at the tablecloth, a couple have an (unheard) argument, a group of boys play football in the background.

This is not going to be everybody's idea of a good time, but for those of you who like Kaurismaki and Jarmusch (though this is different to their styles), you might well enjoy this lovely film. Suárez and Arreola are just great as the likely (yet unlikely) couple. The photography is also very good. Having seen it twice, I would say that at heart it is about seizing opportunities for happiness, which sometimes come few and far between. If you get the chance to see this film, do take it.

Plus - very good extras on the disc - an interview with the director, a short film of the making of, a deleted scene, stills and trailer.
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on 29 June 2014
The item came ultra fast and worked brilliantly. Thank you for brilliant service.

The film itself is a gorgeous little Mexican boy-meets-girl story given a new lease of life. I quickly fell in love with Marina (Cecilia Suárez) who gives an amazing performance throughout. A brilliant example of the pure awkwardness of dating and finding love with beautiful cinematography and cultural reference. Marina and Victor know very little about each other and seemingly very little about themselves, but lust for the companionship of another person. A film that shows real human emotion and is a sweet and awkward little film by Conteras.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2010
This film wears its arthouse credentials like a snug poncho. Critics have praised the allegorical content and the universality of the themes, with the interior scenes and attention to (sometimes offscreen) background detail creating the sense of isolation and loneliness in a big city. The director and brother/scriptwriter clearly have serious intent, with a great deal of thought has been given to what they wanted to create and the framework within which they set their story. Within all of this is a tender little story of two lonely souls who meet by chance and find an oasis of love in a desert of isolation. The film is full of (dry) humour and has a lot of charm, due in no small measure to the acting ability of the two stars.

So why "only" three stars? Well, not all films merit four stars and in my view this one doesn't. There are a couple of real reservations about the film.

Firstly, the Director's framework "fable" is tiresome and simply doesn't work - the story of an old lady (unrelated to either of the main characters) reminiscing on lost opportunities is obscure and ultimately irrelevant to the main story but it constantly and tiresomely interrupts it.

Secondly, the set-up of the couple just seems very contrived - the heavy-handed manner in which we discover HOW lonely the girl is - she hasn't phoned one of her best friends in 7 years and can't get an answer from any other friend - is not credible, no-one is that cut-off; not to be able to remember any of her schoolmates is just so unlikely; the callous meanness of her sister is beyond believability; the actress looks mousey but neither she nor he look as dowdy and dishevelled as people get when alone for years; people who have retreated into a shell do not make sudden risky leaps - except off a bridge - such as she makes in inviting the boy to accompany her on her trip; etc, etc.

It IS better than average and it IS interesting and worth seeing, but with the right expectations.
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