After watching this 2010 work from Fernando León de Aranoa my biggest question is; is this a drama or black comedy. The Movie is based around a young South American immigrant called Marcella (Magaly Solier) who is struggling to stay on top of all of her troubles. The movie opens with Marcela writing a note to her boyfriend telling him she is leaving to go back home, however she does not get far as she faints at the bus stop and subsequently finds out she is pregnant so she turns around and goes back to her apartment in order to ensure the child has a father.  Marcela keeps her issues to herself and when the father of the child notices she has put on weight she just agrees with him.

Events continue to go downhill from there. Her boyfriend sells flowers which he and others pilfer from the skips of a flower processing establishment. He sorts stores and bunches the flowers at their apartment. The home fridge is used to store them and when this fails they have to buy a new fridge, something they cannot afford. In order to pay for the fridge, Marcela takes a job looking after an elderly bed-bound gentleman, Amador, played by Celso Bugallo (The Sea Inside 2004). The working relationship looks like it might be strained at first but they get find each other’s  level and get on. He may be confined to bed but Amador is not beyond enjoying life as the weekly visits by a prostitute, Puri,  who is almost as elderly as him, played by Fanny de Castro ( Volver 2006), demonstrate to all.

Just as it looks like this job might be the answer to her prayers and that things might start to work out events both with Amador and at home soon almost become unbearable. Through faith, fate and a little help from her new friend Puri however, there might be a way out, but it can only be for a short while as she looks to an overall solution to her problem.

Overall the production holds up fairly well, we can empathise with Marcela’s character. If there is a weakness it is that for a while the plot seems to float a little aimlessly but it soon recovers and we again find we are able to follow how the movie is progressing and where the plot and story line are bringing us.

A steadily moving production with overall good performances which mostly hold your attention. The supporting roles are well played and add to the piece.

Rating = 6/10

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