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  • Great acting, especially from Penelope, nice atmosphere by creating mystery but not a dynamic plot. The end was weak too. i was expecting more..
  • Rarely has a filmmaker been so intimately tied to a place as two-time Academy Award-winning writer/director Asghar Farhadi is to his native Iran. Since his 2003 directorial debut, Raghs dar ghobar (2003), six of his eight films have been set there, collectively mapping out the socio-political soul of the country, examining such socially-realist topics as divorce, crime, secrets and lies, and the themes for which he's best known; class and the importance of the past in the present. In 2013, he made his first film outside Iran, Le passé (2013), which was set in France, although it did feature an Iranian protagonist, and was thematically uniform with his previous work. His second such film, Todos lo saben (lit. trans. Everybody Knows It), is set in Spain, and although it finds him working for the first time with a relatively conventional genre template, it remains thematically very much a Farhadi film.

    More a dark psychological study of people under extreme pressure than the kidnapping thriller as which it's been marketed, the film examines what can happen when intense pressure causes long-buried secrets to rise to the surface, how they can bring some together and tear others apart, often because of misunderstandings as to what is and what isn't common knowledge. However, although beautifully shot and exceptionally well-acted, Todos is easily the weakest film in Farhadi's filmography. Whereas his previous work is elegant, nuanced, and perfectly formed, Todos clumsily falls back on clichéd genre tropes and heavy-handed melodramatic plotting, with the narrative hinging on the revelation of a secret so obvious, I'm not even sure you can call it a plot twist.

    Laura (Penélope Cruz) is a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, who returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her 16-year-old daughter Irene (Carla Campra) and eight-year-old son Diego (Iván Chavero) for her sister's wedding. Her husband, Alejandro (Ricardo Darín), a successful architect, stays behind in Argentina due to unexpected work commitments. Laura is particularly looking forward to seeing Paco (Cruz's real-life husband, Javier Bardem), the son of the family maid, with whom she grew up and was in love for many years. Now married to local girl Bea (Bárbara Lennie), Paco co-owns a local vineyard, having bought the land from Laura at a low rate, with Antonio (Ramón Barea), Laura's bitter father, still resenting Paco's success with land to which he believes his family is entitled. That night, there is a power outage, during which Irene disappears. Shortly thereafter, Laura receives a text message demanding E300,000 and warning her not to contact the police or Irene will be killed. With the family under intense pressure, it doesn't take long until they are at one another's throats, with old animosities resurfacing, and distrust spreading between them. To make matters worse, Irene is ill, and without her medication, she will die.

    As one would expect from Farhadi, Todos is aesthetically flawless. Shot by cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, the film captures the sun-kissed Spanish countryside beautifully, with a gorgeous palette of rich browns, golds, and reds emphasising tradition and pride in the past. Drawing the audience's attention to the importance of the passage of time, the film opens by depicting the workings of a cathedral clock. However, the scene also strikes a more ominous note - the bell tower features a hole through which smaller birds can fly, but it is too small for the pigeon who also flits around the clock, trapping him inside; a visual metaphor to which we return several times. Also aesthetically impressive is the opening montage, which introduces us to a dizzying number of characters. Farhadi is at his most economical and leisurely in these quick-fire early scenes, drawing a complex web of blood relations and friendships (if this were a novel, there'd be a family tree included), whilst still creating a sense of intimacy and tight-knit community. It's also worth noting from an aesthetic perspective that although Alberto Iglesias is credited as the composer, the film only features one piece of non-diegetic music, which plays over the closing credits.

    Given the nature of the story, a major theme is the weight of the past on the present - seen most clearly in how Antonio still resents Paco's purchase of Laura's land and how Bea believes that Paco is still in love with Laura. More specifically, the film looks at secrets, examining not only the importance of who knows what and how secrets can sometimes bring people closer, but also looking at the more complex issue that much of what we do in any given situation is based on what we assume other people do and do not know. Set in a small community where everybody knows everybody else, Farhadi gets a lot of mileage out of revealing that what some thought were secrets were actually common knowledge (hence the title).

    However, it's in relation to secrets where the narrative begins to fall down. Farhadi uses the revelation of secrets as a structural principle, much as he has in his past work. Some of these revelations could be seen as plot twists (such as how Alejandro's construction business is doing), some not so much (why Paco and Bea have no children, for example). The film builds the tension reasonably well until about two-thirds of the way through, when it unveils the biggest secret/plot-twist, and the moment upon which the entire last act hinges. However, it's a revelation so telegraphed, when the scene came, I literally had to remind myself that the character involved was unaware of the information being shared. The actors play the hell out of the scene, but Farhadi is so self-serious about the profundity of the moment that it almost has a comic effect, like a magician too interested in the audience's reaction to a trick to notice he is screwing the trick up.

    The film also strays into outright melodrama far more than in any of Farhadi's previous work. The above-mentioned twist is one example. Another is that there's a late-night thunderstorm (although, thankfully, no one has sex in front of a raging fireplace during it). The longer the film goes on, and the more twists and turns Farhadi throws into the mix, the more clumsy his script becomes, with the heavy-handed deterministic plotting lacking the grace and light-handedness of his previous work. The fact that Irene needs medication or will die in a couple of days is a particularly egregious example of this; a detail shoehorned into the narrative to arbitrarily create extra time-sensitive tension. It's a clichéd genre trope more suited to something like Law & Order (1990), that is, quite frankly, beneath an auteur of Farhadi's calibre.

    Another issue is that the central conflicts aren't as well grounded in the milieu as in Farhadi's Iran-set work, where the issues explored in each film arise directly from that film's immediate environment. This was also a problem in La Passé, but it's more pronounced here. This could be because Farhadi is unfamiliar with the environment (like La Passé, he wrote the script in Persian, and had it translated), but whatever the case, in comparison to the nuance of his previous work, Todos feels like a step backwards. For example, the kidnapping plot, by definition, suggests a villain with a motive, whereas one of the more striking aspects of his oeuvre to date is the lack of antagonists, and the difficulty in assigning the majority of blame to any one person. Additionally, what often went relatively unspoken (class resentment in Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011), for example, or domestic violence in Darbareye Elly (2009)), is here much more overt, with the characters presented in a more open manner, their prejudices, hopes, and desires more explicit.

    I didn't hate Todos lo saben, but given the pedigree of the director, it did leave me disappointed. Farhadi is on his game aesthetically, and, once again dealing with issues of class and the destructive power of the past, so too thematically. The problem is the narrative. He piles so much on that I just stopped caring, as the plot lurched from secret/twist to secret/twist to secret/twist. There's nothing wrong with grafting one's thematic preoccupations onto a genre framework, of course; filmmakers as varied as Michael Mann, David Fincher, and Christopher Nolan work within genre conventions, but are very much auteurs. However, when doing so, one must pay attention to the genre elements of one's film or they will be overwhelmed and seem like a poorly thought-out distraction, grinding against the themes rather than organically co-existing with them. That's exactly what happens in Todos. Beautiful to look at, and thematically interesting, the film is, unfortunately, let down by a disappointing narrative.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I went to the premier of the movie with a great anticipation and I can say it fits well into what could be expected from Mr Farhadi.

    Honestly speaking, I was hesitating whether to rate it 8 or 7 out of 10 because probably this movie is standing a bit lower than his ''The Salesman'' or ''A Separation'', for example.

    Let me build my review from negative - from my point of view - to more positive features of the movie.

    The topic of a kidnapping is very much explored in film industry and unfortunately it bears a predefined/ prejudged drama, which very often sounds or looks like a cliché. The shock, the panic... the decision not to call the police and to start to collect the money for ransom... I find an interesting reference here to ''The Salesman'' where our family in the main role also decided not to call the police in Tehran for the incident - probably a nice twist showing that people all across the world are actually the same and this could be considered a part of the universal message of most of Farhadi's movies...

    The character of Irene practically turns into a true victim of the whole story being just at age of 16... One of the last cadres of her being devastated and exhausted and suffering somehow look well authentic but show what is the price and who has to pay it for the ''games'' of the adults or other people in general. Following the open-end approach of Mr Farhadi, the reasonable questions are - what will be her fate, will she overcome this trauma, will she forget and how, will she remain a victim for the rest of her life?

    The meeting and the talks between Alejandro, the husband, and Paco, the lover, of Laura seem provocative and probably they are pushing the limits but... my que is - is it the same also for the European ''libertine'' culture? It is understandable that in many parts of the world it is unthinkable to meet the lover of your wife or to raise a kid from another man and this is presented also in a controversial way in the movie. Nevertheless, the character of Alejandro is subject to mockery, including for his faith in God, leaving to us, the spectators, to wonder whether the author would like to present him as a divine or a looser-type man... or probably the both?

    Let me move towards some more positive things. Following the title, I personally liked the general notion that most, if not all secrets are actually calling to be revealed or discovered, therefore - often a lot of secrets are known by everyone - ''Everybody Knows''! This is simply how it happens in true life.

    Another thing I love in Farhadi's movies is the intention of the characters to practically dig as deep as possible and to reach to the bottom of what it has to be.

    In this context the full clarity about the events, including the (open) end revealing who had organized the kidnapping but leaving it in the mist whether people will actually tell about it, is really worth an appreciation.

    From my personal point of view, yes, I simply agree that past plays a big role nowadays, yes, old deeds do matter, yes, infidelity and children from another man are life-changing events, yes, there are a lot of secrets ''known by everybody'', but for which people are often reluctant to talk, yes, there are weaker and stronger persons and often the ones seen or called ''weak'' attract and receive mockery, yes, often in true life the most innocent become victims, yes, a lot of people accept to make big compromises or simply continue to live the life as it is... but at a high price...

    ''Everybody Knows'' is the next good movie from Mr Farhadi, hardly overtaking his previous masterpieces, which could be considered an unexpected surprise at the time, but anyway, this is an authentic psychological drama, unfortunately or fortunately - trying to warn or teach us something like every piece of the big art - with sad and even deep dark connotations...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ''Everybody Knows'' (''Todos Lo Saben'') is a Spanish crime/thriller, written and directed by Asghar Farhadi (''The Salesman'', ''About Elly''), starring Javier Bardem, Peneleope Cruz and Ricardo Darin. The story is simple enough, a teenage girl disappears in a family wedding night and leaves her parents in absolute despair. The plot is rich and as the film evolves vast number of secrets and lies within the family circle are revealed, a fact that enhances the mystery and the whodunit element of the story. Nobody and nothing is what it seems in a movie that reminded me -in terms of plot and atmosphere- another Spanish television series, titled ''Bajo Sospecha''. As you imagine, there are plenty of twists and turns and if ''Everybody Knows'' was twenty to thirty minutes shorter in length, it would be an ideal Euro-thriller, worthy of a four-star rating. The performances are solid and the three experienced protagonists are more than convincing in their respective roles. The main flaw in this film is its ending. I found it to be weak and anticlimactic, ruining the overall movie sensation. As a result my rating is a whole star lower than I originally planned.
  • In order to get to a point where the story really begins to play out, there is a very long and unfocused backstory introduction. We don't really know what we are supposed to be taking note of. We feel like a fly on the wall, or indeed the drone filming the family wedding...too distant to be engaged in the real actions. We are given a few mis-directions and red herrings, not that we could ever work this out to begin with. We start to believe that a teenage girl has set up a huge scam. This is preposterous but we do so anyway. One character does suspect the truth and is alone in speaking out. Everyone else tip toes about keeping the secrets everyone else also knows. The victims are ultimately the ones who try to make amends. It's a sad tale where no one wins. A subtle and well made film of toxic family closeness.
  • Everybody Knows evokes some contemporary moral dilemmas that play out in melodramatic relationships complicated by the questionable bond of trust among husbands, wives, and lovers. This movie is another perfect addition to Persian director Asghar Farhadi's resume as he is approaching international recognition by writing and directing multicultural film that includes actors such as Cruz and Bardem. This power couple make the film a pleasure to witness in terms of acting, as they are giving us pure emotions in their original language which seems effortless to both. A very emotional and thought-provoking journey that ends with all plot questions answered but leaves with the morality of the story to deal with on you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***spoilers OKAY WAIT A MINUTE!! Me and my friend were all in on this movie up until literally the last 5 minutes?? WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED IN THE END??? QUESTIONS:

    1.DID PACO DIE?? 2. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SISTER AND HER HUSBAND?? 3. DOES PACO GET THE MONEY BACK? 4. DID BEA LEAVE PACO?? 5. DOES IRENA KNOW PACO IS HER DAD??

    Please someone explain because we are livid about this ending let down
  • gonijohn16 December 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    I disagree with the majority of viewers, I think it was an excellent story with a remarkable character, Paco, the son of the maid, who gives everything when he loves, and rejects Laura's excuses for her reasons of abandoning him (there is no excuse if you love somebody). In addition the realistic relations in this fallen landlords family, and the relations of the family with the ex-workers, is another point for the movie. Asghar Farhadi was good for another time, even outside Iran (don't forget ''Le passe'', midway between West and Iran). This is not as good as ''A separation'' but certainly one of the best movies in 2018.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I believe that this movie is one of the best collaboration of Spain artists so far and a lot of things could be discussed about the beauty of this movie but I would like to point out something that everyone ( even the director) simply missed it.

    The simple idea behind the plot is that almost everybody in the village know the secret or at least most people heard the rumors but it seems that Paco who lives there ( all his life )with lots of contacts and friends has no idea about this secret.I believe this is a really big plot hole,

    I wish Asghar Farhadi could fix this but it's too late.

    Other than this I should mention that the Javier Limon music is great, Locations ,colors and actings are flawless,but still that plot hole is bothering me so much.
  • This is a great movie in all respects. Everything is just about right. The plot is intelligent, the script doesn't require you to skip through hoops, all the characters are believable and show their depth as the movie progresses, and ho boy, what a cast! Even the extras are good and the supporting cast is amazing, but Penélope Cruz and Xavier Bardem show in this movie that they are two of the greatest living actors. And if you want to see how to do handheld camera work, this is it. If I had to pick a single movie from 2018, this would be it.
  • The movie starts 30' after you 'll push play. The first 30' are useless crap not related to the core play. And then...it's slow. The end is like the movie just stops in the middle of the story / plot. They should have cut 30' in the beginning, make it quicker and add some useful minutes in the end.
  • I suggest this movie to whom loves humanity. The director knows how to open your mind and feeling.
  • nidzica3 March 2019
    Out of 2hrs 10min almost 2hrs were spent on boring plot that doesnt keep viewers attention. After 2 hours of boredom torture came 10min of even more disappointing ending!! Very slow story making a viewer wait endlessly for plot twist or at least something interesting.. But that never happened. Once the end was announced I felt like I've been stolen two hours of life. Overall huge disappointment.
  • I have always liked, but not loved, the English language movies that Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have been a part of. Part of the issue, I think, is that even though they are dynamic, charismatica and GOOD LOOKING screen presences that embody the very definitioni of the term "MOVIE STAR", they are working in a language that is not their native language, so something, I think, gets lost in translation. So, it was with some excitement that I checked out the Spanish language thriller EVERYBODY KNOWS (Spanish Title: TODOS LO SOBEN).

    And...I wasn't disappointed. Both Bardem and (especially) Cruz shine in this familial thriller. Cruz stars as Laura, a native of Spain now living in Argentina. She (and her 2 children) come back to her small village outside of Madrid for the wedding of her younger sister. When a bad thing happens on this trip, Laura must find a way out while dealing with lingering family matters and pressures that come to the fore due to the stress of the situation.

    Without putting too much of a fine point on this, Cruz is stunning. Not only is she a beautiful woman who commands the screen whenever she is on, but as her character becomes more and more physically and emotionally torn with "the situation" her raw emotions come out and you see a very real portrayal of a mother who will do anything for her children. This performance is (was?) Academy Award worthy - it is that good. This is a strong actress at the top of her game.

    She is more than matched on screen by the less showey, nuanced - yet fun, at times - performance of her real life husband, Javier Bardem, who plays a person from Lara's past that is drawn into the events. Bardem won an Oscar for playing the mysterious, scary hitman, Anton Chigurh in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MAN. This was a a character who barely spoke. In this film, he plays a lively, extroverted fun-loving person who's whole personae is called into question, quite the contrast to the English language characters I have, heretofore, known him for.

    Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi (best known for THE SEPARATION) does a good job driving the story - once it gets started - he is sure handed in handling both the suspense/action moments of this movie as well as the family drama during the "many people talking around a table" scenes. This film led off the Cannes Film Festival last year and was greatly lauded.

    It's not a perfect film. My friend who saw the movie with me stated (correctly) that he had never seen a movie that "started so poorly but corrected itself and finished as an excellent film" like this one did. The first 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of this 2 hour and 15 minute film is filled with introducing the myriad of characters associated with this family (and the mystery that enfolds), but it is a scattershot approach to film making and character introduction and Farhadi misses the mark more than he hits the mark during this period.

    But once the mystery unfolds - and Cruz and Bardem's characters (and acting) kicks into high gear - things get quite good, quite tense and quite engrossing. Well worth the time to check it out.

    Letter Grade B+: (C for the first 45 minutes, A for the last hour and a half)

    7 1/2 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
  • Watch it in original Spanish, if you can, to live the actors at their fullest.
  • The films of Asghar Farhadi are renowned for being suspenseful dramas, but it would be an exaggeration to describe them as thrillers. 'Everybody Knows' plunges into this genre as 40-something Laura returns to her native Spain for a younger sister's wedding, accompanied by her teenage daughter Irene. During the festivities, Irene is drugged and abducted, with the abductors leaving evidence they were behind a previous kidnapping where the victim had been killed.

    Messages soon arrive demanding a ransom and warning Laura against informing the police. Laura's family decide to handle matters themselves, but they respond with confused disarray as old secrets, suspicions, jealousies and resentments are exposed. The first secret to emerge is that the reputed wealth of Laura's husband is a mirage, so the panicked clan must search for an alternative source to satisfy the kidnappers' requirements. An outsider wavers over supplying the necessary cash, but strangely none of Laura's extended family volunteers to make any contribution to ensure Irene's safe return.

    Farhadi's direction of the complex interactions between the family members is up to his usual high standard. At the end, rather than neatly wrapping things up, he makes the sophisticated choice to leave his audience speculating how the fallout will affect his characters' future lives. Unfortunately he also makes a glaring omission which undermines the film's credibility - the police remain conspicuous by their absence even after the crisis has reached its conclusion, despite a serious crime having occurred.
  • It's long, but certainly not boring. Recently before seeing this I saw Prisoners and I was expecting the same kind of movie, but it wasn't. While Prisoners is very intense and really focused on solving the case, Everybody Knows is not that intense and exciting. But it is a really good movie, because you see the effect it has on everyone. And the amazing acting by the cast certainly helps.
  • irwaneasty26 December 2018
    Script is overly simplistic and dragged out for no reason.
  • ultraboj-4381021 January 2019
    Fantastic story and mysterious to the end, but the ending is very disappointing. VERY!
  • thespy-6361222 September 2018
    How so many great actors and this incredible director could make this movie? No surprises...very disappointing.
  • danesallen29 November 2018
    Saw it at tiff! Amazing work!! Asghar farhadi does a great job without knowing the language he creates a master piece!! Loved it!
  • ...how good this movie was!

    I'd seen The Salesman, which is also directed by Asghar Farhadi and that was pretty decent so had reasonable expectations for this.

    'Everybody Knows' is well shot and has excellent cinematography. The build up is slow with a 'who done it?' feel.

    A relaxing and enjoyable watch. Just a shame I was the only one in the screen to enjoy this delightful movie
  • As I said, the introduction was way too long, the party was endless, I was about to quit the movie through it, and looking back it didn't really contributed to the story, only made the movie longer unnecessarily. When events come up and the story starts developing, I was really interested, the pace is slow, but there're a lot of suspicion and lots of theories to play with. The acting is great, best of the movie, everyone felt very real and convincing, this aspect was the strongest of the movie. Then by the time things are coming to a conclusion, I was feeling unsatisfied and disappointed, I don't think the ending was as good as it would be while trying to guess what was going on. I can't explain why without spoiling what happens, I'll just say that it was quite silly, and it seemed it would be way more complex. The ending was definitely the weakest aspect of the movie, the cinematography was quite average, nothing special. In the end, is a good movie but it fails to impress after all the tension created in the second act.
  • I expected more; the performance of the actors is great, but I just can't ignore the fact that I felt somehow bored while watching it, plus the end is just weak, I felt like there's something missing in it!
  • A cast of the best of each house seems to eclipse the film but behind it happens so much ... A plot for nothing grandiloquent, a classic thriller, that delves into the REALITY of what its characters tell. I emphasize reality because it seems very complicated that I have managed to make a script like that of a foreign director, Asghar Farhadi. Farhadi prints in each scene a very special soul with his address so I am left wanting to see more of his filmography.
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