Amador Fernando León De Aranoa

Amador Fernando León De Aranoa
Both a black comedy and deliberately paced, metaphorical character examination, Amador is unique in its blending of elements and genres under the veil of a slow-moving drama. At first, this story of South American immigrant Marcela (Magaly Solier) learning about her pregnancy just as she's forced to seek employment to pay for a new fridge seems like a potential social critique, resting on the laurels of political didactics and minority injustice in Spain. And while these implications exist on the periphery, a subdued sense of comedy comes about after Marcela's gig taking care of an elderly man turns problematic when he dies. Needing the money to pay for the fridge her boyfriend uses to store flowers ― his source of income ― she leaves the dead man rotting in his bed, telling his daughter that he's sleeping whenever she calls to check in. Complicating things is a nosy neighbour, a prostitute that drops by on Thursdays and the concern that his daughter might show up unannounced. While this could easily turn into an absurdist story of close calls and abject morality, director Fernando León De Aranoa is more concerned with examining the character of Marcela than exploiting genre clichés. Her decisions to hide her pregnancy from her boyfriend and put off dealing with the rotting, dead body are mirrored by her inability to confront the reality of her state in life. The metaphor of a flower as a dying emotional aid is somewhat overused, as is the device of solving a puzzle for assessing one's identity and trajectory, but they manage to work in relation to this story of personal affirmation and realization. Appropriately accompanying this clever and engrossing film is the short American movie How it Ended, wherein a husband (Larry Pine) and his sick wife (Debra Winger) invite over a young friend (Halley Feiffer) on their last night together alive. Again, this seeming drama about death turns into something completely different within its 18-minute runtime, mixing dark comedy with slow character drama. (Film Movement)