EVERYBODY KNOWS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
This new film from writer/director Asghar Farhadi is a tense look at family and the lies that bind them. The film starts out with the wedding of Ana (Inma Cuesta) and her fiance Joan (Roger Casamajor) in Madrid. Family and friends are arriving including Laura (Penelope Cruz) with her young son Diego (Ivan Chavero) and her sixteen-year-old vivacious daughter Irene (Carla Campra) in tow. Laura tells everyone that her husband Alejandro (Ricardo Darin) had to miss the wedding due to work. The family understands because he is the wealthy businessman in the family and they are just working lower-middle-class people that used to be well off themselves. They are all staying with her older sister Mariana’s (Elvira Minguez) family that includes her husband Fernando (Eduard Fernandez) and their grown daughter Rocio (Sara Salamo) who has a young child and is separated from her husband who her parents despise. Rocio works for her family at the family hotel where the wedding is happening.
All is going well, everyone is celebrating big family and friends such as Paco (Javier Bardem) who grew up with Laura and dated her and his wife Bea (Barbara Lennie). Irene appears to have had too much wine and dancing, so her mother puts her to bed and gives her a dose of her inhaler for good measure. When the power goes down suddenly the party moves inside. Nothing can dampen their spirits except the screams of Laura as she looks for her now missing daughter Irene. On the girl’s bed are news clippings of a famous child kidnapping that ended and then comes to the first text saying, “We have your daughter, do not go to the police or she will be killed.”
The rest movie is a daunting emotional thriller of motives and revelations. When Laura and Paco are told by Jorge (Jose Angel Egido) a retired policeman and friend to Fernando that it looks like its an inside job. They begin to doubt everyone around them as time runs out for Irene who has not had her medicine in several days.
I will not go into any more details because I hate spoilers and I want you to see this film for yourself. What I will say is that Asghar Farhadi is skillful at writing believable stories about group drama and with this fantastic cast of performers, he has an excellent film to add to his growing list of impressive movies. I doubt you will figure out who did it until the big reveal.
Is this a perfect film? No, and my only complaint really is about the ending. I wanted more resolution or perhaps a happier conclusion for who I believe the main character turns out to be. For that reason alone, I give Everybody Knows a B+ rating instead of an A, but the bottom line is that this is a good movie.
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Written By Asghar Farhadi
Selig Rating B+
Running Time 2hr 13min
Drama / Foreign
Limited Release February 22nd The Angelika Film Center Dallas & Plano
Starring: Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darin, Inma Cuesta, Jose Angel Egido, Barbara Lennie, Carla Campra, Ivan Chavero, Elvira Minguez, Sara Salamo, Eduard Fernandez, Roger Casamajor
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.