Donnerstag, 3. Juli 2014

Filmfest München: Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados (Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed)

Spanish writer/director David Trueba's "Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados (Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed)" is the kind of movie where angelic human beings with sympathizable troubles cross paths, hold hands, and find out that no problem can't be solved when you live by a quotable philosophy and your heart's in the right place. Earnest, accessible, resolutely middle-brow, it's no high art but a readily digestible, inoffensively sentimental semi-road-movie with strong production values.

Set during one of John Lennon's film shoots in southern Spain in the 1960's, the story follows a lonely school teacher, a runaway boy and a pregnant girl as they arrive in the sun-kissed seaside town and meet even more decent, down-on-their-luck countrymen trying to get by. As suggested, subtlety is not what the screenplay goes for, and the direction, pinning down the emotional cue of any given scene with a hammer, is also on the broad side. But with such aggressive appeals to the common niceness of people, some genuine feelings are bound to be struck, not least of which the simple sadness of reaching the end of a journey shared with kindred souls. Ultimately these scenes of endearment can't belie the fact that the movie as a whole is too neatly orchestrated for any organic dynamic to unfold. That or I'm just a heartless cynic.

Lead actor Javier Cámara is as effortlessly winning as always. No matter how potentially cringe-worthy the scenario, he swings it like a pro and softens whatever artificiality with a natural charm. The romantic production and costume design, the tenderly lit photography and the jazzy, melancholic guitar-based soundtrack are responsible for how gorgeous everything looks and sounds.

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