This is the first feature film from Beatriz Sanchis; based in Madrid she managed to attract some big names from the Latin acting world as far afield as Argentina and Mexico. This is a tale told from the point of view of Pancho (Christian Bernal) a teenager who lives with his ex-pop star Lupe (Elena Anaya) and her mother Paquita (Macarena Garcia). Lupe never leaves the house and ignores her son who is desperate for some attention from her. Her mother takes desperate measures and performs a day of the dead ritual with life changing results for everyone.
The casting is spot on with Anaya giving an outstanding turn as Lupe, somewhat disheveled and out of sorts in her own skin, Perez Biscayart as Diego is perfectly louche and cool and Garcia is very believable as the grandmother struggling to keep her family together; at turns funny and stern.
The soundtrack is well put together; poor Pancho has to grow up without music as Lupe hates it so much, therefore it holds even more significance within the story. The main set is the house which was dressed around the cast as they rehearsed and is a living space; the magical basement is every teenagers dream.
It’s hard to define this film, ghost story, drama, comedy, tragedy; there are many facets to it but most of all it is about the human condition and all its complexities.
This is a stylish, thoughtful and funny film. Catch it if you can when it comes out.