An understated, cross-generational rural drama whose general air of lethargy is redeemed by a decent central perf and the beauty of its locations, vet Mario Camus’ “The Field of Stars” plays out its themes of emotional uncertainty, memory and loss to unconvincing effect. Featuring three plotlines of varying interest and some well-intentioned social critique, pic strives for subtlety and seriousness, but is hobbled from the start by its default-mode characterization. Home B.O. since mid-January release has been slow, and even Camus’ rep as the helmer of some gold-plated Spanish classics is unlikely to help “Stars” shine offshore.
Alfonso (Alvaro de Luna, energetic) was raised by Nanda (Mari Gonzalez), who is now seeing out her old age in a home. Together with buddy Tasio (Jose Manuel Cervino), Alfonso takes young cycling prodigy Martin (Oscar Abad) under his wing as a way of lending some meaning to his twilight years. Meanwhile, Martin’s sister, Luisa (Marian Aguilera), who is also Nanda’s social worker, falls for motorbike mechanic Ramiro (Antonio de la Torre). Nicely modulated final moments are the best thing about the script. Locations in Cantabria, northern Spain, are well-lensed.