Lucía y el sexo

This 2001 film by Spanish director Julio Medem tells a mysterious tale about a waitress, Lucía (the wonderfully named Paz Vega); the writer she falls in love with, Lorenzo (Tristán Ulloa); his agent Pepe (Javier Cámara); Lorenzo's one-night stand of years before, Elena (Najwa Nimri); the daughter she bore as a consequence, Luna (Silvia Llanos); Luna's nanny Belén (Elena Anaya); Belén's porn star mother Manuela (Diana Suárez) and mother's boyfriend Antonio (Daniel Freire)... This unlikely cast of characters feature both in Lorenzo's fiction and in reality; they are intertwined through a string of bizarre coincidences and eventually converge on a mysterious island full of holes. It's magic realism in all its unsettling beauty.

This movie caused a sensation when it was released because there's quite a bit of sex and nudity - including full frontal male nudity with erections (this ain't Hollywood!) - but there's much more to the film than that. The cinematography is beautiful, languid and dreamy, and the acting is very good. The narrative moves between the world that unfolds at Lorenzo's fingertips and the one that the characters inhabit; metaphor becomes reality, reality finds its resolution in fiction, and conflict and passion play out in the relationships of the characters. It can get confusing, and this, coupled with the slow pacing, made me impatient for the catharsis that I hoped would come at the end - and, thankfully, it did. Not a movie for the literal-minded or those impatient with subtitles, this will please the more adventurous viewer.

With help from the Internet Movie Database

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