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  • Having myself lived in an Andalusian pueblo for the better part of a year (albeit in 2004) I found myself amused by some of the similarities between my own "modern" experiences and those of Geraldo in this light-hearted romantic comedy -- particularly the dumb-struck way in which he initially blunders about in a world that is in many ways completely alien to him. Also quite familiar was the tightness of the community, the openness, the love of the art of conversation, the desire (as embodied in the character of Paco) to find any reason to throw a party, and of course, the wonderful, passionate Flamenco.

    The village characters, less than fully fleshed-out individuals but more than stereotypes, are in some ways archetypes of the times. Much of Andalusia was impoverished in that time period (another familiarity to me, having grown up in a small, poor rural town in the US) -- and yes, as in all such places, there are the machinations for dominance in the village, the matrimonial plotting of the town matriarchs, and even the mystique embodied, however clumsily, by the gangly English foreigner Geraldo, who has arrived looking only inspiration, but finds himself rather lost and quickly swept away by the engines of fate.

    Far from being a "serious" film, this comedy depicts well the clash of Geraldo's naive artistic intentions with what life in this poor Andalusian town, to which he is so completely new, actually provides him. The film serves as a metaphor of more modern times in Andalusia as well, with so many Britons and other northerners having relocated to the Spanish Mediterranean -- bringing with them the two-edged sword of wealth and development, which has lifted much of Andalusia out of poverty in recent decades, but subverted a good deal of passionate tradition as well. Little pueblos evolve into bedroom communities for British, Dutch and German retirees and wealthy vacationers, and new golf resorts spring up like weeds. The transformation of Andalusiua, depicted in a simplistic way in the film, continues.
  • This beautiful film is based upon a memoir of Gerald Brenan who was a member of England's Bloomsbury Group. It is the story of a randy young man who completely immerses himself in the lives and culture of a small Spanish town shortly after WWI. Brenan, throughout his long life, was an adventurer and traveler who seemed to have had the enviable ability to absorb and learn from all of his varied experiences.

    The movie begins with Brenan trooping through the Spanish countryside to reach a small town where he has obtained a house. His greeting from the locals cannot be considered warm but still not hostile. His intent is to read, write, and absorb the culture of this town that is somewhat of a throwback to the previous century - not something really unusual considering this is rural Spain in the 1920's. As time passes, he becomes more of a member of the community but is still seen as a curious oddity by many of the residents.

    Brenan's fascination and admiration of the people and their culture was clearly evident. He and his writings became admired by the Spanish people and recognized by the Spanish government.

    This film is particularly enjoyable because it is evocative of the unique period in Europe between the wars when so many artists shed the constraining straitjacket of Victorianism for an enlightened, erotic freedom of expression. Matthew Goode who plays Brenan is perfect as a young man freed from the oppression of war and the oppression of society to explore all the educational and erotic pleasures available. He is supported by an excellent cast of Spanish actors - the men portraying character and strength, the women exemplifying emotion and dark, sensuous passion.

    I may be a bit prejudiced in my liking for this film. If I could pick another time and place to live my life, I would choose that time between the wars in Europe, so I tend to lap up any book or film depicting that period. Even if you are not as enamored as I am of that time, I think you will find Al sur de Granada worthwhile entertainment.
  • Spanish Dramedy (Drama and comedy) set in the 20s with emotion , humor , fun , amusing situations and nice players . In 1919 , a drifter as well as novice writer , Gerald Brenann, a Brit young of noble family arrives in Yegen, a village in Alpujarras from Granada province . There he meets some villagers and then rents a house for a year . Gerard is a writer and poet and has a few money as well as a love of reading and writing . His objective is loneliness and writing , having a lot of books as only company . He's soon the center of attention from his maid , María (Trujillo) , who has a marriageable daughter , Angeles (Bebe); from Paco (Guillermo Toledo) , a man who decides to guide Gerald in the ways of the village and of love ; from the village's priest (Antonio Resines) , his hidden lover (Angela Molina) , her friend who loves St. Teresa , and , from Juliana (Veronica Sanchez) , a gorgeous adolescent who baths nude herself by the river .

    This comedy/drama contains a romantic love story , social habits , humor , entertainment and including some nudism with strong love scenes . This is a slightly funny film with entertaining events , giggles , emotion , an enjoyable love story and touching scenes at its final part . The film moves in fits and starts most of which would be desirable , with more traps the viewer resists any kind, and some moments of enjoyment and others quite a few embarrassing with some absurdities and implausibilities . The flick gives a short description about rural lives of low-classes in the twenties . This is a typical Spanish comedy from the 2000s with the usual ingredients such as agreeable humor , villagers customs , relationships among people . The roles in this film are all lovable despite being rather pathetic and unfortunate . Our starring Gerald must sort out his feelings and face down the machinations of the village's women , who map a future he doesn't want . The picture also explores the complex relationship among known Brit artists such as Ralph Partridge (Laurence Fox) , Dora Carrington (Jessica Kate Meyer) , Lytton Strachey (James Fleet) , issue formerly dealt in the film ¨Carrington¨ . The flick attempts to spread optimism about the events of life , friendship and love , with its amusing sides but also including some risks . The film deals with the relationship between Spanish and Anglo Saxon youth , including language problems , a topic also treated by the director in other films such as ¨Linea Del Cielo¨ , ¨Efecto Mariposa¨ and ¨Los Años Barbaros ¨ . Sympathetic performances from protagonist duo who provides a considerable boost to the result , such as Matthew Goode as the subsequent famous author Gerald Brennan and Veronica Sanchez , a teen beauty who's the daughter of a witch . Likable support cast gives good acting such as Guillermo Toledo , Bebe , Consuelo Trujillo , Mariano Peña , Ángela Molina , Mariana Cordero , Antonio Resines , among others . A well acted, so so crafted, movie that should be considered as a return in form to the typical Spanish comedy of yesteryear . The picture achieved Goya prizes for Best Original Score , Juan Bardem , and nominated for Best Production Supervision Goya Best New Actress , Verónica Sánchez , and Best Cinematography , José Luis Alcaine and Best Special Effects , Reyes Abades.

    Atmospheric and appropriate musical score by the notorious Juan Bardem , a magnificent composer who has composed a lot of films . Furthermore , a colorful and evocative cinematography by Jose Luis Alcaine who was first cinematographer to use fluorescent tube as "key" lightning and deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameramen . Alcaine frequently works with Pedro Almodóvar , Bigas Luna and Vicente Aranda , as he has photographed ¨The skin I live in¨ , The bad education¨ , ¨Volver¨ , ¨Women in the verge of a nervous breakdown¨, among others . Here he shows splendidly the impressive landscapes from Alpujarras . The motion picture was professionally written and directed Fernando Colomo . Fernando Colomo was born in Madrid and is a talented and versatile writer/director who has made a vast array of often solid and entertaining films in all kind of genres as comedy, drama and one science fiction movie (1985 El caballero del Dragón) in a career that spans over 30 years . Especially known for directing comedies such as 1987 La Vida Alegre , 1988 Miss Caribe , 1989 Bajarse al Moro , 1993 Rosa Rosae , 1994 Alegre Ma Non Troppo , 1995 Efecto Mariposa . And in the 2000s directed Al Sur Granada (2003) , El Próximo Oriente (2006), Rivales (2008) and La Banda Picasso (2012) .
  • benjgarc6 February 2003
    I have to say that finally I see a Fernando Colomo's movie that I like. "Al sur de Granada" is beautifully filmed, has a nice pace and contains superb acting. The recreation of beginning of the century Alpujarras is convincing, the characters credible and the plot engaging.
  • This is a beautiful looking movie, wonderfully photographed. It isn't a great film by any means, but it is charming and entertaining, presenting a topical view of life in the southern villages of Spain at the time. The characters are not fully fleshed people, they are stereotypes attempting to represent the different hues of the Spanish psyche... if you look hard enough, you can even find references to the Quixote/Sancho relationship which is so characteristic of the Spanish culture. There are some disappointments too: social issues such as the great divide between rich and poor, the consequences of the religious protestant reform failure in Spain, and the emigration dream (in this case to Argentine) are just touched but never fully explored. Fernando Colomo is an A-list director of the Spanish film industry and he has attracted a star studded cast to this movie. Great names like Antonio Resines and Angela Molina are happy to take on what they are really minor roles... The acting in general is quite good. Ultimatelly this ends up being a 'fish out of water' film which appears to have had pretensions of becoming a quality/art cinema when first conceived, but never quite achieved it.
  • This movie is the cinematographic transposition of a beautiful autobiographic work: British writer (and historian) Gerald Brenan wrote a very sincere piece about his six years in the Alpujarras and everything shown in the picture is true, including people's names or the birth of his Spanish daughter Miranda Helen.

    The film, which is very nice, focuses on Brenan's story and doesn't show a great deal of the Alpujarras, which is a pity.

    Educated readers however could draw an interesting comparison between the present title and 'Tortilla Flat' or its sequels. Both Steinbeck's and Brenan's works (which are contemporary) describe Anglo/American people living in a Spanish/Mexican environment but besides what these stories have in common, Steinbeck's ones are fictional while Brenan's is real.

    And someone could actually dislike how the Englishman behave: I personally think he was too young. Being older and more experienced, maybe he would have made other choices.
  • dcldan26 December 2005
    This time I've seen a bad film, the history is not interesting, it is really boring. In addition, actors don't do any good play, they all seem too much uncomfortable with their papers and the directing is not good. Despite that, the description of a southern Spanish town of the 30's is not bad, and it saves the film to receive a worse mark. Theorically the story is about a English man that wants to be a writer and goes to Granada to have inspiration, there, he crashes with the strange town behavior which he is not used to. Of course, he finally falls in love and all these things. Unfortunately this is not a Meg Ryan's film so the story is not well told to us, nor the crash of cultures (and nothing). Personally, I've seen much better films, so, unless you like the director I should recommend not to see this film (if you like the director, you can, but I think that this is his worst work).