Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mondays in the Sun (2002)

Set in the Spanish port city of Vigo, Fernando León de Aranoa's Mondays in the Sun is a touching drama about a group of working-class men who find themselves suddenly unemployed and unwanted in their middle age. Laid off from the local shipyard, the men spend their days at the town bar, where they reminisce, philosophize, and commiserate about their current state. Gruff Santa (a bearded Javier Bardem) puts up a tough front, refusing to sink into self-pity, and occasionally pricking his friends' hopes. Morose José (Luis Tosar) openly worries about his wife, whom he fears might leave him. That seems to have been the fate of Amador (Celso Bugallo), the oldest of the bunch, who keeps reassuring everyone that his wife will be back any day now from her trip. Meanwhile, Lino (José Ángel Egido) refuses to give up hope of employment, going to interview after interview for jobs being offered to applicants half his age. Presiding over the glum bunch is Rico (Joaquín Climent), the bar owner and the men's co-worker from the shipyard days. Despite its depressing subject and downbeat mood, Mondays in the Sun was a big winner at the 2003 Goya Awards, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars, winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Bardem. The film was also Spain's surprise representative for the 2003 Oscars' Foreign Language film category, nabbing the distinction over Pedro Almodóvar's critically lauded Talk to Her. ~ Elbert Ventura, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 113 mins
Mondays in the Sun (2002)

I found it dull, boring and insipid. The characters could have been interesting enough especially Gruff the gruff one but nothing really sticks out as nothing more than losers complaining about how bad they have it. But at least one person seems to have gotten into the movie at: "Full of sympathy for the worker's plight." Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz.
Jose's wife Ana (Nieve de Medina) works the night shift of an assembly line at a fish processing plant that pays little and exploits the workers with poor working conditions, but she's the family breadwinner just waiting for the day when she can tell the bosses to go fuck themselves and she can come home without having to deodorize herself from the fish smell. But she seems tired of her husband's despair and low self-esteem, and their marriage is becoming strained as Jose is becoming a shell of a man unable to even communicate with her.
I unfortunately missed that idea about the fish smell when she spent inordinate amounts of time using the spray deodorant.

The scene with the rich parents kids away and the four men hanging out drinking was quite creepy as well as the flirts between Gruff and Nata (Aida Folch) the 15 year old daughter of the bartender. He even does it openly at the bar but ultimately when given a chance for a rendezvous at his apartment he sneaks out. But at other times Nata is distant to Gruff as they meet outside the young boys house to discuss the transaction for babysitting which is just an excuse for the four men to drink at the "man's" house.

Overall not worth the effort to read...