This awesome film has a simple plot : A man , four women and a lot of romance . It deals with a Spanish soldier named Fernando (Jorge Sanz) deserts from the army in 1931, at the beginning of Spanish Republic , a time of optimism and promise and previous Civil War (1936-1939) . Fernando flees only to find himself detained by a pair of local Guardia Civil . The hearty young boy and main character, well portrayed by Jorge Sanz (still one of Spain's most promising young actors), breaks outs and soon is befriended a lonely ,elderly man called Manolo (Fernando Fernan Gomez) in a little village . Problems arise when the Manolo's four daughters (Penelope Cruz , Miriam Diaz Aroca , Maribel Verdu , Ariadna Gil) come to visit their daddy and the soldier quickly enchanted falls in love with each of them . Fernando likes all of them and they like him , so he must decide which one to love , or Rocio, Violeta, Clara and Luz .
Earthy comedy with historical and romantic elements ; including enjoyable performances , adequate set design and delightfully shot . ¨Belle Epoque" , ¨The age of beauty¨ results to be other of the innumerable stories to deal with youthful love , being developed in mirth , lively and vital style . An agreeable story in which an ex-soldier escapes and discovers the opposite sex on the way , it is plenty of amusing moments , moving feelings and fun finale . It is a light , wistful romantic comedy , easy to watch , and easier to love . A very pleasant romantic comedy plenty of humor , emotion , sensitive scenes and mayhem . "Belle Epoque" is Trueba's return to top form, with an intelligent and engaging script which uses amusing situations to give us a good movie in a high sense and intimate sensitivity and that kept me entertained for the almost two hours of duration . It is well set and is as marvelously filmed as it is written and acted . This is one of those rare gems that does not stray from its purpose - to be a celebration of love and romance and humorous tale of a young boy controlled by his libido . Oscarized director Fernando Trueba , also writes the interesting script along with prestigious screenwriters as Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez and Rafael Azcona , Luis Garcia Berlanga's ordinary . Filmed in his usual formal and luxurious style , without leaving a trace the joyful themes , in terms of dramatic and narrative excitement . The film is light and never somber, no small accomplishment from Fernando Trueba and his team . Very good secondary cast formed by Spanish familiar faces such as Gabino Diego , Agustin Gonzalez , Maria Galiana , Juan Jose Otegui , Mary Carmen Ramirez , Chus Lampreave : Almodovar's usual and the French Michel Galabru . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Jose Luis Alcaine , one of the best Spanish cameramen . Gorgeous exteriors filmed in Portugal ; Fernando Trueba shot the movie in Portugal for two main reasons : 1) he couldn't find any place similar to what he had in mind in Spain and 2) the use of that Portuguese location allowed him to empathize the tone of fable the story required . Jolly as well as sensitive musical score by Antoine Duhamel , including Non-Original music by Pablo Sorozábal from opera "La Taberna del Puerto" and some catching song as when Gabino comes to serenade Rocìo, he sings "Las Mañanitas" which in México is used to celebrate a birthday .
This simple , attractive and delightful motion picture was well directed by Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba , as the flick is entertaining and well worth your time . His first success was Ópera Prima (1980) following the style of the "Madrid comedy". Trueba had major success with Sé Infiel y No mires Quién (1985) also known as : Be Wanton and Tread No Shame , starting a longer collaboration with the producer Andrés Vicente Gómez . He went on directing numerous successes such as Coarse salt , Too Much , Year of Enlightment , Milagro de Candeal , Niña De Tus Ojos or The Girl of Your Dreams , Calle 54 , Embrujo De Shanghai , Chico and Rita and recently : The Artist and the Model. The multi-award winner in Spain Fernando Trueba was President of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and he received the 1994 Oscar for Best Foreign Film to Belle Epoque (1992)and when accepting his Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, director (Fernando Trueba) said: "I would like to believe in God in order to thank him for this prize, but I only believe in (Billy Wilder), so... Thank you, Mr. Wilder!". Wilder himself reportedly phoned Trueba a few days later for acknowledgment and told him: "Hello Fernando, I'm God".