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Victor is a man who gets to Paris to join his family around their seriously ill father, Max. As the chance of selling the family business begins to disrupt the family relationships, Victor is desperately asked for help by Max. What seems in the beginning mere delusions of an old man losing his mind, begin to show traces of some sort of real 'secret' that is troubling Max's last days. Victor decide to help his father to find that something (maybe just peace) he is searching for.Written by
"You must find the way out", declares the tagline. It's, with one simple look, referring to the movie's title; "The City of No Limits", and how to get away from it. That's how you would imagine, but it's much more complex. It's a way out of problems and situations involving a family A way to show what happens when a family is separated for a long time and meets again.
I decided to watch this movie, mainly, because I saw Leticia Brédice's name somewhere. She's probably my favorite Argentinean actress and I love to see her in movies (because she also works in television). I considered that reason enough, but I was glad I found Leonardo Sbaraglia too. He's an excellent character actor that was born in Argentina but, like many others, tried luck in Spain and did many movies in both countries.
"En la ciudad sin límites" is a co-production between Spain and Argentina This co-productions fail almost all the times, because the writers have to invent plot elements to set locations in any of those countries. But not this movie This movie is set mostly in France It includes characters living in Argentina, in Spain, but once the family is reunited, it's France.
Director Antonio Hernández takes great advantage of this, and his camera travels through Paris' streets, from building to building, from house to house, from hotel to hotel; even when the main situations occur in a hospital floor Less, a hospital room. In this room, Max (Fernando Fernán Gómez) is dying and this joins the whole family together. Spanish and French words are spoken all over by different and peculiar characters; in an objective demonstration of how life goes round and round. It happens with my family today. I have family in France, in Peru, in Venezuela, in Argentina Sometimes it happens that events join us.
I won't expand on the things that all the characters experience (each of them has at least one magical moment); because in the end, even when there's a main event, there's a treatment and for every person of the family That's what the movie makes us watch and hear. Víctor (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is Max's son and has to secretly help him find a person, Rancel (Alfredo Alcón), that probably doesn't even exists, because Max is probably going crazy, or back to the past. Víctor is married to Eileen (Leticia Brédice), and meets in the reunion with Pilar (Adriana Ozores), his brother's Alberto (Álex Casanovas) wife, and his own old lover. Luis (Roberto Álvarez) was married to Carmen (Ana Fernández) and had to children, but now they're separated and in Paris for different reasons; when Luis' girlfriend, Beatriz (Mónica Estarreado) gives a surprise visit...Marie (Geraldine Chaplin), Max's wife and the boys' mother, is quiet and lonely; also keeping something hidden.
Writing is outstandingly correct, with the director and his collaborator coming up with an interesting and emotional story mixing emotions with mystery And that's probably the film's dilemma. It has a side where it wants to work as a suspense movie, thriller; and it could have gone wrong, but it didn't because the elements are correctly combined and I managed myself to put all together in my mind as a powerful movie with all its things. In the movie's intent for the thriller genre, and the mix I'm talking about, it was difficult for the team to get the right structure. Luckily, it all came out fine indeed; with a score by Víctor Reyes that has its totally strange moments, but at the same time powerful and moving moments with inspiring melodies.
The acting by the entire ensemble is decent. Sbaraglia highlights as Víctor, in a very natural performance with a lot of commitment. Adriana Ozores also highlights as Pilar, and carries some powerful scenes in her shoulders. The pros Gómez and Alcón are lovable in their characters, Chaplin gives strength to a simple Marie, Álvarez generates laughs with his Luis, Fernández goes crazy as Carmen, Casanovas makes everything look easy through Alberto's eyes, Estarreado looks as she needs to but does little as Beatriz and Brédice; well She's still the Leticia I love to see.
The film deals with some fresh strong issues in its dramatic moments; but don't be fooled. This is not a movie about prejudices and opinions about people. It's about what each human being thinks is best for it, deciding in order to get that; and those decisions can cause lots of troubles.
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