The Grandfather

Think Full House with huevos. Cranky Count Albrit (Fernarndo Fernan-Gomez), broke and nearly blind, returns to turn of the century Spain from Peru, where he's squandered a family fortune. He's initially pleased to meet his granddaughters, the disturbingly adorable Neli (Alicia Rozas) and Doli (Cristina Cruz), but we soon learn there's something nagging...read more

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Reviewed by Steve Simels
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Think Full House with huevos. Cranky Count Albrit (Fernarndo Fernan-Gomez), broke and nearly blind, returns to turn of the century Spain from Peru, where he's squandered a family fortune. He's initially pleased to meet his granddaughters, the

disturbingly adorable Neli (Alicia Rozas) and Doli (Cristina Cruz), but we soon learn there's something nagging him — the knowledge that his daughter-in-law Lucrecia (Cayetana Guillen Cuervo) cheated on her husband, and that one of the girls is not the Count's blood kin. Which one is la

bastarda? Will the Count destroy Lucrecia's family and good name in his effort to learn the awful truth? Like, what's the Spanish word for duh? At nearly two and a half hours, the thoroughly predictable feel-good ending seems an eternity in coming, and by the time it arrives few viewers

will much care, since the Count is written as such a thoroughly disagreeable misanthrope and prig. Matters aren't helped by the fact that Fernan-Gomez is downright scary looking, in a fairy-tale villain sort of way; you keep waiting for the kids to run shrieking in terror from the old geezer. The

tone of writer/director Jose Luis Garci's picture (which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film) also veers inconsistently between sit-com jokeiness and nostril-flaring melodrama, though to be fair his script most likely lost something in translation. It's a safe bet that

whoever was responsible for the appallingly stilted subtitles had little or no prior experience with colloquial English.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Think Full House with huevos. Cranky Count Albrit (Fernarndo Fernan-Gomez), broke and nearly blind, returns to turn of the century Spain from Peru, where he's squandered a family fortune. He's initially pleased to meet his granddaughters, the disturbingly… (more)

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