La Soledad

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The Match Factory

Produced by Fresdeval Films, Wanda Vision, In Vitro Films

Needlessly drawn out and fractured by insignificant split-screen editing, Jaime Rosales' Un Certain Regard film "Solitary Fragments" seems like an opportunity wasted. His story of one woman with three fractious daughters and another with a lost son has some touching moments and events that startle but they are lost within his languid technique.

Despite strong performances and a sympathetic approach to the fate of women in a world of major terrors and small disappointments, the picture is unlikely to travel beyond the festival circuit.

Petra Martinez plays Antonia, who runs a small grocery store and has a kind boyfriend named Manolo (Jesus Cracio). Her grown daughters Ines (Miriam Correa), Nieves (Nuria Mencia) and Helena (Maria Bazan) display the usual sibling rivalries and resentments. The potential sale of the family's apartment, with Antonia moving in with Manolo, and the money going to help Helena and her husband buy a house by the sea is the source of considerable conflict.

Their friend Adela (Sonia Almarcha), meanwhile, is recovering from a shocking trauma that has caused her to abandon her lover, Pedro (Jose Luis Torrijo).

Rosales tells their stories at a sedate pace and even the most urgent matters, such as an explosion and a death, are viewed from an uninvolving distance. This dislocated approach has the cumulative effect of creating such a gulf with the audience that attention dissipates. It's a shame because a less pretentious approach might have rendered some rich performances more powerful.

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