Storm Season

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the cast in "Storm Season," a bleeding-hearts drama by director Pedro Olea that takes weather-as-metaphor about as far as it can go. However, pic is built on psychologically wobbly foundations, and home B.O. in late April, on the heels of its Malaga fest preem, was mild.

With:
With: Maribel Verdu, Jorge Sanz, Dario Grandinetti, Maria Barranco, Monica Randall, Ramon Goyanes.

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the cast in “Storm Season,” a bleeding-hearts drama by veteran director Pedro Olea that takes weather-as-metaphor about as far as it can go. Olea has worked in many genres, but this gallery of emotional malcontents represents a career high point, albeit flawed, for its performances and mood. However, pic is built on psychologically wobbly foundations, and home B.O. in late April, on the heels of its Malaga fest preem, was mild.

An implausible relationship between designer Chus (Jorge Sanz) and weather presenter Elena (Maribel Verdu) is breaking down. They split up, and Chus hits the whiskey and pills, eventually falling into a coma. His mother Begona (Monica Randall, stiff) blames Elena. This plot thread runs parallel with another about successful record producer Oscar (Dario Grandinetti) and neurotic alcoholic Sara (Maria Barranco). Sara attempts suicide at the same time as Chus does, and the stories come together. The prolific Sanz supplies one of the perfs of his career, keeping the appalling, self-regarding Chus just the right side of histrionic, while Barranco is strikingly intense as the damaged bourgeois housewife.

Storm Season

Spain

Production: A UIP release of an Enrique Cerezo PC, Lola Films, Iberoamericana Films production, in association with TVE, Canal Plus. (International sales: Lola Films, Madrid.) Produced by Andres Vicente Gomez, Enrique Cerezo. Directed by Pedro Olea. Screenplay, Joaquin Gorriz, Miguel Angel Fernandez.

Crew: Camera (color), Nestor Calvo; editor, Jose Salcedo; music, Angel Illarramendi; art director, Juan Botella. Reviewed at Real Cinema, Madrid, April 26, 2003. (In Malaga Film Festival -- competing; also in Taormina Film Festival.) Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Maribel Verdu, Jorge Sanz, Dario Grandinetti, Maria Barranco, Monica Randall, Ramon Goyanes.

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