28 April 2007 | leonaca
Very fine visuals and some compelling performances, but uneven and superficial story that weaken the appeal of this movie.
This movie is one of numerous films released at the turn of the century to delve into Spain's past, but it lacks the depth and nuance that would make El Lapiz del Carpintero a movie to study and remember.
The issue is not the performances since most of the characters are compelling, nor is it a question of technique or style. Some of the panoramic views of the Galician landscapes are breathtaking, and the interior set designs create a convincing visual authenticity of the period. It is easy to see that major components such as lighting, and details such as clothing received the kind of attention that make the images appealing to watch.
The film is superficial, however, in its approach toward a topic that requires and deserves a more careful and balanced presentation. The strength of the characters and the allure of the visuals are not enough to make a powerful story that audience members mull over, argue about, or even discuss.