Solitary Fragments | Chicago Reader

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As the title suggests, this Spanish drama by Jaime Rosales (The Hours of the Day) trades in the minutiae of everyday life—specifically, the lives of Adela (Sonia Almarcha), a new mother in the process of separating from her husband, and Antonia (Petra Martinez), an elderly widow buffeted by the problems of her three grown daughters. The narrative style is so quiet and orderly that after the midpoint is marked by a terrifying act of violence, silent aftershocks ripple through the movie even as the characters try to return to normal. Using a split screen to show different segments of the same room, Rosales often places one character in profile and another facing the camera, as if to note that even their shared moments are uneasy intersections of private experience. In Spanish with subtitles. 128 min.

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