26 March 2017 | garcianc2003
Beautiful and captivating
Beyond some controversy in the history behind the story, Finding Altamira is, in its own right, a find worthy of celebration.
The cinematography of Jose Luis Alcaine is amazing. One could take almost any frame in this film and hang it on a wall as a work of art. I could have watched this film in mute and enjoyed just the visual majesty of every scene.
After doing work in films like the Spy Kids franchise, Antonio Banderas is developing a reputation, in my mind, as a recognizable actor who brings attention to otherwise obscure movies, not to drive up the budget, but to elevate attention to the art. I would have never watched Automata, had I not been wondering what Antonio Banderas was doing in that movie; only to be wonderfully surprised again. In this movie, I would say that his acting was adequate, but once again, after the Automata experience, I decided to give the movie a chance. I am so glad I did.
My favorite scenes were those involving Rupert Everett (Monsinor) and Golshifteh Farahani (Conchita). The cinematography was almost like watching an oil painting, with barely any movement, yet the tension and intensity of every scene was incredible. Was it sexual? Was it a power struggle? Was is a tug-of-war of morality? I could have watched them all day.
The little girl in the film, Allegra Allen (Maria), as most child actors tend to be, is just too precocious in this movie and the character almost did not work for me. In my opinion, the point of view of the story shifted too much from the child in the beginning, the father in the middle, and the mother at the end. I believe the story would have been better served if the arc of Conchita's story would have remained the focus throughout.
There was an "affair of the heart" storyline which was totally unnecessary, in my opinion, and only included to generate more scenes and conflict for secondary actors. I believe the movie would have been just fine without diving into that part of the story and leaving it as wistful glances between two characters.
The story, whether parts are true or fictionalized, is simple enough and I would suggest, secondary to this film.
You should watch this movie if only for watching how beautiful the craft of movie making can be.