Review: ‘Yesterday Never Ends’

Essentially a chamber piece that feels exactly like the legit adaptation it is, "Yesterday Never Ends" reps a tedious drama from Spanish helmer Isabel Coixet.

Essentially a chamber piece that feels exactly like the legit adaptation it is, “Yesterday Never Ends” reps a tedious drama from Spanish helmer Isabel Coixet. Set in 2017 but not very sci-fi in its trappings, the film depicts the painful reunion of two lovers who haven’t seen each other in years. Committed perfs from leads Javier Camara and Candela Pena make the journey more bearable, but excessively mannered direction will restrict appeal beyond Hispanic territories.

Adapted from Lot Vekemans’ play “Gif,” Coixet’s script teases auds with hints for a while before spelling out the reason the never-named couple is meeting: The cemetery where their dead son is buried (the location is actually the acclaimed Igualada Cemetery) is about to be destroyed, and this is their last chance to say goodbye to his remains. Gradually, the backstory fills in, explaining that she stayed behind in a financially stricken Spain while he left suddenly for Germany, and that she may be linked to mysterious “symbolic” bombings all over the country. The characters’ inner thoughts are revealed by quick flashcut shots in monochrome, a device as irritating as it sounds.

Yesterday Never Ends

Spain

Production

A Miss Wasabi Films production in collaboration with Contracorriente. (International sales: Gaumont, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.) Executive producers, Isabel Coixet, Adolfo Blanco. Directed, written by Isabel Coixet, based on the play "Gif" by Lot Vekemans.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, widescreen, HD), Jordi Azategui; editor, Azategui; music, Alfonso Vilallonga; production designer, Cristina Castells; costume designer, Agnes Bonet; sound (Dolby Digital), Albert Gay; associate producers, Arantxa Roca, Carla Sospedra, Manuel Monzon; assistant director, Luca Vacchi. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 10, 2013. Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Javier Camara, Candela Pena. (Spanish, German dialogue)

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