6/4/13

Ali

"Ali" is a precocious, witty, lovely young woman who works in a big-box store, "dates" (at arm's length) a co-worker, and lives with her emotion- ally troubled mother. This entry from Spain (English captions) was an unlikely feel-good surprise at the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival.

Our heroine has a few issues, so she protects herself from 1) Falling in love, and 2) Learning to drive. She watches her erratic mother with her erratic love life and vows she will NEVER allow it to happen to HER! In addition, she has studied statistics and knows there are more red cars in auto accidents than any other color. (All of her imagined vehicular catastrophes feature red automobiles.)

The co-worker is a nice young man who records sounds for background details used in recordings. He is a patient, gentle fellow who can't quite understand why she is the way she is. Her driving instructor is equally patient and repeatedly gets her into a gigantic, empty (!), parking lot so she can work up the nerve to drive his maroon (NOT red!) car.

There are so many delicious bits of dialogue, I have to stifle the urge to repeat many of them here, but that would spoil the film for YOU; so just believe me when I say you'll smile or laugh out loud more than once!

Director Paco R. BaƱos shows us how clear-eyed and good hearted she is and why she is so determined to live her life her own way. Her biggest test is when her mother gets a new boyfriend (again!). BTW, it seems to me that the wonderful actress who plays "Ali" suffers from scoliosis. This easily could have been concealed. Has no one noticed?
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This preview from SIFF is very slow to load:
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