While a self-sacrificing matriarch is in Seville to stay with her daughter as her grouchy husband recovers from an operation, she enjoys a tender twilight liaison with the widowed octagenarian neighbour.
Its ironic that Benito Zambranos placid debut should have joined All About My Mother in sweeping Spains 1999 Goya Film Awards (12 between them), as it couldnt be more different from Almodovars exuberant masterpiece.
Yet, at the centre of each, is a self-sacrificing matriarch, here played with dignity, devotion and determination by the exceptional Maria Galiana. Shes in Seville to stay with her daughter (Fernandez) while her grouchy husband (De Osca) recovers from an operation.
But in attempting to transform Marias life, she also enjoys a tender twilight liaison with the widowed octagenarian (Novoa) from downstairs. Caught between provincial conservatism and urban isolation, Fernandez also impresses (despite the occasional melodramatic outburst) as the pregnant, thirtysomething cleaner who still resents her abusive, alcoholic father for ruining her life before it began. So its unfortunate that Zambrano should saddle this delicate tale of missed opportunities and unspoken feelings with such a trite ending.