Everybody Knows (Todos lo Saben) - 2019
Director(s): Asghar Farhadi
Writer(s): Asghar Farhadi
Cinematography by: José Luis Alcaine
Editor(s): Hayedeh Safiyari
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín, Bárbara Lennie, Inma Cuesta, Elvira Mínguez, Carla Campra, Ramón Barea and Jaime Lorente
I rarely get to see foreign films in the theaters living in Cincinnati. So, when I saw that Asghar Farhadi's (A Separation and The Salesman) latest film was playing near me, I jumped at the chance to watch it. It being led by Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem was merely a cherry on top. Let's talk about it.
The story centers around Laura (Cruz), Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returning to her hometown with her two children to attend her sister's wedding. Her hometown is filled with secrets and tensions, mostly due to the dealings of her family and an unexpected turn of events ruins the trip. I tried to keep my summary as vague as possible, as I went into my viewing completely blind and benefited greatly as the story unfolded before my eyes and I had no clue where it was going. Farhadi's script uses the first act to sell the love and joy engrossed in this family, as the wedding is filled with kisses and smiles from each member. This makes the audience's descent into the madness and desperation of the situation that harder to digest. The mystery grabs you from the very, and even though the ending is not as satisfying as I would've hoped, it still lingers in your mind long after you walk out the theater.
Farhadi along with cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, create a beautiful film to look at, utilizing to the fullest the landscape of Spain's small town. The camera movements and the use of blocking, especially since the entire conflict of the film are played out through conversations; help to keep a fast pace throughout the film.
However, what made was the stellar acting from the entire cast — not a single weak link. Bárbara Lennie delivers various powerful speeches that felt raw and too real, to the point that I felt like an intruder in her home. Javier Bardem is subtle and nuanced as he is stuck in an incredibly hard situation, between his current love and his former love. And finally Penelope Cruz, Laura, once again proves why she is one of the greatest actors working today. I hope that they kept gallons of waters on hand, as they had her crying in every other scene and it never came across as forced or unnatural. She owned every scene she was in, and I have her cries of pain painted in my heart.
Everybody Knows (Todos lo Saben) is a thriller that focuses more on the effects it entails on the family, rather than the mystery of the whodunit. It tackles how secrets and past resentments can fester and create a cloud of distrust among families that when present with a tough situation it could very well tear them apart. This film boils down to a good script that is elevated by an incredible cast that is hitting on all cylinders. Watch it if you can.
Everybody Knows (Todos lo Saben) is Why I Love Movies.
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