Country: Spain / France
Movie Review: Renowned Spanish helmer Fernando Trueba has a gentle style of filmmaking, and that’s noticeable in “The Artist and the Model”. However, this drama shot in an appealing black-and-white, is not at the same level as his big hit from 1993, “La Belle Epoque”, or the absorbing musical animation from four years ago, “Chico & Rita”. If the two films mentioned before were quite passionate in the way they express themselves, this one seems to lack some confidence and the results are lucid but restrained. The story, set in an occupied France in the early 40's, follows a famous aging sculptor whose long-time discouragement vanishes after his wife finds the perfect model for him: a young fugitive girl from Reus, Catalonia. Beautiful, shy, and restive, this girl will create a special bond with the persistent artist, at the same time that she takes actively part in the war, helping Jews to flee to Spain. Despite of this last factor, all was depicted with a relaxed pace and a quietness that dangerously approaches to sleepiness. The few events depicted in the film, like the unexpected visit of an SS officer or the hiding of a wounded soldier, weren’t sufficiently strong to give a shake into monotony and the results nothing have to do with enthrallment. Trueba wrote the plot conjointly with screenwriter/actor Jean-Claude Carrière, and the film was nominated for 13 categories of Goya Awards, including best film, screenplay, actor, actress, cinematography, and director.