For decades, in Spain many families have taken advantage of the festivities to go to the movies (on Christmas Day the theaters were overflowing with spectators). Despite the advancement of the new variant of covid-19, no case of contagion has been reported in a movie projection room. Here are 10 recommendations chosen according to the hobbies and priority of each family. There is more on the billboard, which these days houses titles for all tastes.
For families who love science fiction: ‘Matrix Resurrections’
Has Lana Wachowski built a self-reflective film on the imprint of Matrix in the collective imagination or has the commission been taken on a joke? Throughout the entire film, which copies the scheme of the first installment, jokes occur about commissions made under dictatorial orders, the horror of the remakes, the reboots and the sagas (the character of Lambert Wilson only appears for this), and the importance of bullet time and the philosophy that launched to the screens in 1999 the beginning of a trilogy that faltered in Matrix Reloaded and sank in Matrix Revolutions. Is Matrix Resurrections it is entertaining, although in the middle of the story it gets muddy from its constant attempt to explain the inexplicable. And the final third, with Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves in full swing, confirms something that was sensed in their previous jobs: the Wachowski sisters are romantics. By the way, watch out for the appearance of the goddess Cibeles.
review of Matrix Resurrections: the red pill was a love kiss.
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For lyrical families: ‘West Side Story’
That the box office disaster does not hide the great show that Steven Spielberg has made in West Side Story. Between Leonard Bernstein’s music and the filmmaker’s show of power, the film is one of the best recommendations for Christmas. Now, in this hypervitamin version of the original 1961 film and the musical that premiered on Broadway in 1957, a certain magic is lost. The film by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins limped in media and a poor selection of actors, although in exchange the lighting and photography work (of necessity they made virtue) by Daniel L. Lapp is capital, and the interpretation of Natalie Wood is hypnotic ( although it was dubbed in the songs). Spielberg adds in the appearance of Rita Moreno and in the reflection on racism and dogmatism.
review of West Side Story: his music remains immortal, the rest is correct.
For families with children: ‘Sing 2!’
If the firstSings! it was a very pleasant surprise with its mix of good animation and a tremendous collection of pop hits,Sing 2! He is not far behind and adds the appearance of Bono giving voice to the old rocker Clay Calloway, who plays songs by … U2. Now the troupe tries to premiere an elephant-like musical show in a look-alike town in Las Vegas. It works, although it has lost the freshness and surprise of the first, and as a continuation its creators (the French-American studio Illumination) have not tried to be imaginative: the outline of its script repeats the plot of the first part.
For families with children who hate animation: ‘The Wolf and the Lion’
Never has the phrase “from the creators of” worked so well as in The wolf and the lion because it is “from the creators of Mine and the white lion ”. The director of both, Gilles de Maistre, dominates this cocktail of a nature-loving girl who protects a wild animal cub in a wild setting. In this case it is Alma, a young 20-year-old pianist, who after the death of his grandfather returns to his childhood home, lost on a Canadian island. And his steps cross with some wolf and lion cubs, animals for which, to take care of them, he will decide to stay on the island.
For families without children: ‘Spencer’
Group of friends moviegoers, couples without children, lonely moviegoers and families who have placed children: Spencer it’s your movie. Chilean Pablo Larraín has built a nineteenth-century ghost story, almost a horror narrative, with the Christmas weekend when Diana of Wales made the decision to divorce. In other words, it also scores as a movie about Christmas, albeit from a terrible angle: parties and dinners as an act of vassalage and humiliation. Larraín, an always brilliant author, puts the camera at the service of Kristen Stewart, who manages the character – who continues to hide a great mystery even today – through her different feelings: suffocation, submission, rediscovery, motherhood, empowerment and liberation.
review of Spencer: Lady Di, that lost and lonely princess.
For families with teenagers: ‘Who prevents it’
What are today’s teenagers like? Well, actually, like all teenagers throughout the centuries. Jonás Trueba certifies it in Who prevents it. The filmmaker met a group of them in October 2016: “At that time it was not clear to me that I was going to make a film. I didn’t decide until last year, with the crisis of the pandemic. It was more of a process, a way of working … And I felt that I had to pay tribute to adolescents and contradict the image of propagators of the covid that persecuted them in summer ”. Trueba told this in the presentation of the film at the last San Sebastián festival. Who prevents it lasts 220 minutes, but they are necessary. And seeing them together with teenagers opens a new door of communication: do they feel that way? Does it reflect you well? How do you feel when you see other teenagers on the screen?
review of Who prevents it: real teenagers.
For families who love drama: ‘It was the hand of God’
I was going to propose it for families who love football, but actually it fits better, in addition to those who are passionate about drama, in another category: for families who love Maradona. Paolo Sorrentino creates one of his best films by recovering his childhood in Naples, when by watching a match for his team, in which the Argentine star was playing, he saved himself from dying asphyxiated with his parents in 1987, one month after his 17th birthday. “The facts are not all real. Emotions, yes ”, assures the filmmaker about what was shown in It was the hand of God, shortlisted for the Oscars. It is a film as nostalgic (“melancholy is a way of being in the world, and I was before the great tragedies of my life”) as it is a Fellini, with characters and situations born from the genius cinema. And, secretly, yes, a love song for football: “In football I don’t know what will happen. There is magic. Soccer is more surprising than cinema ”.
review of It was the hand of God: the memory of Sorrentino speaks.
For Popcorn Families: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’
At this point, turned into the second best start in the history of the box office in the United States, launched to be the highest grossing film of the year there, in Spain and in the rest of the world, little remains to be said to push someone to see Tom Holland again in the spider-man costume. But you can applaud: Spider-Man: No Way Home It is enjoyable, a defensible diversion, that constrains the superhero’s career in the cinema in the 21st century … And look how long it has been. As Javier Ocaña pointed out in his criticism, a real joy. Oh, and Marisa Tomei, an absolutely underrated performer, performs.
review of Spider-Man: No Way Home: the three exhilarating levels of spider man.
For families wanting a half smile: ‘Six ordinary days’
Neus Ballús has scored one of the best comedies of the year just by putting the camera in front of three plumbers. It may sound simple, but it is not straightforward. Six running days it is a wonder. Ballús captures the adventures of a trio of plumbers on the outskirts of Barcelona. They are Mohamed, Valero and Pep, three actors who in real life are called Mohamed, Valero and Pep and are also plumbers. With them he shot up to 70 hours of footage that ended up being reduced to 90 minutes, which condenses one of many stories. There is pain, classism, racism … although humor, the absurdity of some situations are above them. In short, life.
review of Six running days: a cute and unclassifiable comedy about a crew of plumbers.
For ‘glasses’ families: ‘Sacred Spirit’
How to praise the best Spanish film of the year without underlining that incredible final 10-minute stretch, finished off in a fixed shot in which an inflatable carnival in the shape of a sphinx and a squad of policemen enter? How can you make a science fiction movie in Elche and make it ooze with the truth? How to talk about UFO-obsessed associations, missing girls, gruesome ceramic figurines, music new age of the worst kind, leopard prints, I dripped on the walls, without falling into the ridiculous or actually in any genre? Chema García Ibarra answers all these questions with Holy Spirit. At its premiere, García Ibarra said: “I am fascinated by supernatural Spain, with those publications and characteristic television programs. I am not interested in the fantastic event itself. I am not attracted by the faces of Bélmez, but the guy who is at the door of the house charging the entrance. Or the restaurant you go to after seeing the faces. Is it decorated with portraits of this paranormal phenomenon? Everything human that surrounds the parapsychological fascinates me ”. And that is Holy Spirit.
review of Holy Spirit: Unidentified cinematographic object from Elche.