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Everybody Knows

(Spanish) In this new film by two-time Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi (A Separation; The Salesman), Laura (Penelope Cruz) and her two children travel to Spain to attend the wedding of her sister. At the wedding, her daughter goes is kidnapped with only a note that no one should go to the police or her daughter will be killed. An old family friend Paco (Javier Bardem) becomes deeply involved in trying to find Laura’s daughter as well. While they search frantically for Laura’s daughter, personal secrets and family dynamics unfold. I really enjoyed the film. For the most part, the story is very engaging, and the director is a very good storyteller. There are enough unexpected story moments that keep the film interesting and moving along. The performances are strong, particularly by Bardem and Cruz. My biggest critique is that the film is about 30 minutes too long; both my friend and I agreed that quite a bit could have been cut in the beginning without much loss in context. Thumbs up from me for a film whose story of loses its way somewhat during the last half hour or so and starts to feel rushed, but while this film is not really anywhere near the caliber of the two previous films, it overall is very engaging. I want to go back and watch the first 30 minutes or so again, as there are some scenes at the beginning that I think relate to later events in the film.

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