Friday, June 13, 2008

La Ventana

Author(s): Brett
Location: Wisconsin

"La Ventana" ("The Window")

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Written by Braulio Mantovani
Edited by Stephen Mirrione
Music by Gustavo Santaolalla
Art Direction by Rika Nakanishi
Cinematography by Cesar Charlone

Principal Cast:

Benecio Del Toro…Arturo Paz
Penelope Cruz…Valesca
Ben Kingsley…Doctor Oliver Loveland
Imelda Staunton…Juna Loveland
Eva Green…Maurecia Loveland
Catelina Sandino Moreno…Esperanza
Diego Luna…Nando
Javier Bardem…Augustin

Tagline: "As you see yourself, I once saw myself; as you see me now, you will be seen.” (Famous Mexican Proverb)

Synopsis: Mexico City. It’s the largest city in the world. Every day, lives begin and end. People’s paths intertwine like the intricate windings of a mighty spiders web. It harbors more secrets than one mind can ever imagine. It’s the epicenter of human interaction. Arturo Paz witnesses these stories every day from his bedroom window. Confined to his room, Arturo is slowly wasting away. The victim of Lou Gherig’s disease, his muscles are no longer responding to his brain. His speech is slurred and broken. But still, his eyes wander the crowded streets of the city below, uncovering their secrets.

Directly across from his window is the largest apartment complex in all the city. Through his peripheral vision he sees four windows. Day in and day out Arturo observes the rise, and demise of the people behind them. First, he finds Valesca, a single mother working as a waitress during the day and as a prostitute during the night. Arturo has grown fond of Valesca, seeing beyond her conflicted nature. He digs deep into the life lives of missionaries Oliver and Juna Loveland. With the untimely death of their daughter, they are on the brink of divorce, and infidelity and dishonesty have tarnished their once sterling relationship. He’s grown to know Esperanza and Nando, a young couple with a newborn baby struggling just to get by, sometimes taking the most desperate of measures of hustling drugs. And finally, Arturo peers into the window of Augustin, a mysterious man whose face has been incredibly disfigured in a horrific car accident battling the most fierce of inner demons.

Each day, as their lives go, on Arturo searches deeper and deeper within the souls of these people. He comes to know them as his own family, despite never meeting them face to face. Through witnessing the conflict in the lives of others, he finds solace in his own. However, in a split second, one explosive blow will change it all…

What the press would say:

It only happens every so often. The emergence of a film that moves you so deeply, affects you so greatly, that it virtually sears its images into your widened eyes. “La Ventana” is one of those films. Crusaded by visionary director Alfonso Cuaron, “La Ventana” takes viewers on an enthralling and equally disturbing journey. Set amongst the heavy smog of Mexico City, this billowing atmospheric mystery serves some mighty cinematic symbolism. The foggy and somewhat mysterious vision that Cuaron projects leaves you utterly mystified from beginning to end. Told through the eyes of Arturo Paz (a heartbreaking Benecio del Toro), “La Ventana” sets the ambitious task of telling the stories of seven lives on the verge of emotional destruction, ranging from the quietest of whispers to a shocking climax that will leave you reeling. And it isn’t an easy feat. With occurrences of substance and domestic abuse, prostitution, terminal illness, and inevitably, death, it takes all the inner strength one has just to get through it. But the ending result is more than worthwhile. After an explosive realization that serves as the final link to each vignette, the dark heavy smog parts to reveal not only a bright light at the end of the tunnel, but a notion of sheer hope that leaves its definitive mark.

For Your Consideration:

Best Picture, Focus Features
Best Director, Alfonso Cuaron
Best Original Screenplay, Braulio Mantovani
Best Actor in a Leading Role, Benecio del Toro
Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Ben Kingsley
Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Imelda Staunton
Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Penelope Cruz
Best Original Score, Gustavo Santaolalla
Best Editing, Stephen Mirrione
Best Cinematography: Cesar Charlone

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