Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spanish Fields

Author(s): Josh P.
Location: Illinois

"Spanish Fields"

Written and Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Produced by Alfonso Cuarón, Sean Penn, Jorge Verga and Marc Abraham
Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki
Edited by Alex Rodriguez
Music by Jon Brion

Main Cast

Wes Bentley (Stuart Rowlands)
Edward James Olmos (Marquez Salidosa)
Gael García Bernal (Enrique Salidosa)
Adrianna Barraza (Helena Salidosa)
Olympia Dukakis (Susie Rowlands)
Emily Deschanel (Angie)
Julianne Moore (Jill Claymont)

Tagline: "His search for the past led him to a beautiful future"

Synopsis: Stuart Rowlands (Bentley) has always been perceived as a normal California boy who grew up to be a successful writer living in Atlanta. He’s received numerous accolades for his writing, and has had two of his works adapted into movies. But one of the great influences in his life has been the knowledge of the Spanish heritage he possesses from his unknown father. His mother (Dukakis) has never kept this a secret, but has normally been hesitant to reveal who his father actually is. However, before she passed more than a year ago, she finally revealed to him that the last time she saw his father, he was living in a small Mexican village named Hermanos, and his name is Marquez Salidosa.

With that, Stuart takes a hiatus from writing and travels to Mexico, with much to the dismay of his publisher (Moore) and his girlfriend (Deschanel), for an indeterminate amount of time. Upon his arrival, as expected, his presence receives mixed reviews. Marquez’s son (Bernal) resents him being there and views him as a rich American looking to steal money from his father. Marquez’s wife (Barraza) feels a bit uneasy towards him, mainly because he represents a past in her husband’s life she doesn’t like, but tries her best to treat him with some decency because of their family connection. Yet, the strangest bond comes between Stuart and Marquez. Neither man really knows how to handle this situation, and both of them approach each other with a delicate ease. What follows in the coming weeks can be called material for a new book, but it is more so an awakening experience that does more than open up the door to old demons, but also attempts to look into the inner core of families and define its true meaning.

What the Press would say:

Alfonso Cuarón provides another deeply emotional, funny and intensely dramatic piece in the same fashion of his breakout international hit “Y Tu Mama Tambien.” Cuarón crafts a very intimate and personal portrait as director, giving an in-depth look into the emotional cores of these characters. He knows this territory and understands how to bring it out not with sophisticated camera swoops, but with a simplistic yet sophisticated sense of loose direction. Among the cast, Bentley shines in his best role since his work in the Oscar-winning “American Beauty” almost a decade ago. He brings to life a character that chooses to seek his absent father not to bring up old wounds or seek money, but just to get a better understanding of a way of life that is completely unknown to him. Bentley is a master of subtleties, and his soft spoken voice and deep, blue eyes convey so much energy. Edward James Olmos and Adriana Barraza also create a fantastic duo in their husband and wife team. They both have great chemistry with each other and work well when going solo. Olmos doesn’t ham up his role, but creates a well rounded character whose deep emotional past is not always seen, but is well understood. And Barazza is good as a supporting wife who does her best to work with this delicate situation that has been handed to her. Cuarón’s well written script that creates an intriguing story, Emmanuel Lubezki’s brilliant cinematography of the wide open Mexican landscape, and the low key score from Jon Brion capture the senses for a truly inspiring movie going experience. The campaign consideration:

Best Picture
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Best Actor: Wes Bentley
Best Supporting Actor: Edward James Olmos
Best Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza
Best Original Screenplay: Alfonso Cuarón
Best Cinematography
Best Original Score

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