Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Silent Treatment

Three days with a wealthy, dysfunctional family as they attend the patriarch’s funeral is hard sledding. Still, it’s a fascinating ride as Lea, a 21-year-old student studying in France, returns to Catalonia for her grandfather’s funeral.

Her father, Josep Maria, and her French mother, Joelle, have been separated for some time, but keep up appearances for the funeral. Their split is not the only thing that's troubling about the family. The relationship between Josep Maria, his two brothers and his sister, who shows up at the last minute and has written a thinly veiled novel about the family, are painfully realistic and strained.

There is very little plot in Three Days With the Family; instead you are witness to these unhappy people, their family skeletons and where they are buried. Relationships are partially revealed with a look, a glance, silence or a few words, putting Lea in the running for an award for “Most Prickly Female in a Slowly Paced Spanish Film.”

Do not expect any resolution and do not expect to leave the theater dancing. You will leave the funeral thinking — even if it’s just to pause for a blessing that you’re not part of this family. — Bob Carson

Wed., March 24, 2:15 p.m.; Thu., March 25, 7:15 p.m.; Fri., March 26, 9:30 a.m. View the trailer, here.

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