Solas

Two generations of Spanish women prove the age-old adage that a good man is hard to find. Thirty-five-year-old Maria (Ana Fernandez) is the damaged product of an unhappy family: She drinks and smokes too much, lives in a seedy apartment building, is nearly broke and can't seem to keep a job. She's also pregnant, but when she tells her boyfriend, an abusive...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Two generations of Spanish women prove the age-old adage that a good man is hard to find. Thirty-five-year-old Maria (Ana Fernandez) is the damaged product of an unhappy family: She drinks and smokes too much, lives in a seedy apartment building, is nearly broke and

can't seem to keep a job. She's also pregnant, but when she tells her boyfriend, an abusive truck driver named Juan (Juan Fernandez), he insists she have an abortion; when Maria says she might want to keep the baby, Juan gives her the heave-ho. Her mother, Rosa (Maria Galiana), meanwhile, is

quietly trapped in an unhappy marriage. She and her husband (Paco De Osca) have traveled from their tiny village to the city where Maria lives so Maria's monstrous father can have an operation. Illness hasn't mellowed him a bit; he's bitter, spiteful and hurls abuse at the silent, long-suffering

wife who loyally refuses to leave his bedside. When the doctor insists Rosa go home and rest, she moves in with Maria and befriends her downstairs neighbor, a kind widower (Carlos Alvarez-Novoa) who lives alone with his dog. It's all terribly sentimental, and as Maria's life begins to renew itself

under the influence of Rosa's simple kindness, Rosa becomes less a character and more a symbol of transcendent maternal goodness, so abstract that she threatens to float away. That said, the acting is superb and writer-director Benito Zambrano's heart is in the right place: He dedicates the film

to his mother and mothers everywhere, and it makes for a lovely tribute.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Two generations of Spanish women prove the age-old adage that a good man is hard to find. Thirty-five-year-old Maria (Ana Fernandez) is the damaged product of an unhappy family: She drinks and smokes too much, lives in a seedy apartment building, is nearly… (more)

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