Iberia Breaks From Europe in Digital-Magical-Realist Fable


A high-toned Euro freak—a Spanish production directed by nomadic Dutchman George Sluizer (The Vanishing), the only film adaptation ever from the Nobel-winning corpus of Portuguese icon José Saramago—this digital-magical-realist fable entails a mysterious fault line that severs the Iberian Peninsula from Europe, sending it adrift in the Atlantic for points unknown. Surrealist metaphors can hardly get any huger, but the narrative actually tracks five loners (and an actual Andalusian dog, no less) as they trek from one old-world hotel lounge to another trying to figure out why they were chosen to receive omens. Soon, a collision with the Azores seems imminent. Literalizing Saramago’s monkey business to this extent, and with this much CGI, is a quixotic mission at best, and Sluizer’s film is a unique and not unpleasant mutation, particularly in its lovely devotion to Icíar Bollaín newly sexualized middle-aged widow, and her dead husband’s Infinitely Unraveling Sock. No special features.

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