STELLA CADENTE

PrintE-mail Written by Ian White

Amadeo (Alex Brendemuhl) has just been crowned King of Spain. His reign is going to be extremely short-lived and he’s destined to spend practically every moment trapped within the walls of his castle, dictated to by Ministers who definitely don’t have his political welfare on their minds. Amadeo cuts a handsome if melancholic figure and the only two people he seems able to trust are his loyal manservant Alfredo (Lorenzo Balducci) who has a disturbingly coital relationship with a watermelon, and his cook Eloisa (Lola Duenas), who briefly becomes his lover. When Amadeo’s wife (Barbara Lennie) arrives from Italy, there seems a vague hope that Amadeo’s circumstances will begin to change, but the peasants are revolting and matters are – quite literally – primed to explode.

Lluis Minarro is a legendary film producer in his native Spain, and this is his first feature as director (he also co-wrote the screenplay). It’s a fantastic achievement, and one of the most surreal, joyous, blackly comic and beautiful to look at historical biopics you’re ever likely to see. Yes, it has a slow moving arthouse tone and there’s a lot of contemplative silence between the words, but it’s such a gorgeously idiosyncratic piece of cinema that even the silences are captivating. Minarro and his cinematographer Jimmy Gimferrer are visual magicians, with each shot composed and lit like a painting, indulging in the rich chiaroscuro of the costumes and set design, taking full advantage of the ever-present Spanish sunlight. But one of the most delightful elements of Stella Cadente lies in Minarro’s genius use of music, especially during a wonderful interlude in the second Act which is guaranteed to put a smile on even the most jaded viewer’s face (you’ll know it when you see it). It’s this kind of savvy but expertly timed irreverence that makes the film such a magnificently unexpected surprise and will make you wish you’d had the opportunity to watch it on a big screen. Highly recommended – this has to be a very late contender for one of the most enjoyable DVD releases of 2016.

STELLA CADENTE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: LLUÍS MIÑARRO / SCREENPLAY: LLUÍS MIÑARRO, SERGE BELBEL / STARRING: ALEX BRENDEMÜHL, BÁRBARA LENNIE, LORENZO BALDUCCI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


Suggested Articles:
A Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli co-production, The Red Turtle was met with critical acclaim following
Justin Barber uses the world famous Phoenix UFO incident, when literally thousands of people saw a t
1931’s The Public Enemy is still at this stage one of the best gangster films ever made. James Cag
Although this collection is entitled Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Season 1 Complete Collection it actually contai
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE RED TURTLE 26 September 2017

THE HOWLING 25 September 2017

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN 21 September 2017

THE PUBLIC ENEMY 20 September 2017

YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL SEASON 1 COMPLETE COLLECTION 20 September 2017

BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (4K ULTRA HD) 20 September 2017

KILL BABY KILL 20 September 2017

POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE: RISE - VOLUME 4 20 September 2017

FOOD WARS! SEASON 1 18 September 2017

GUARDIANS 17 September 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner