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[whitespace] Pacific Rim Film Festival : A Silent Love

Pacific Rim Film Festival

Critic's Pick:
'A Silent Love'

Canada/Mexico, 2004
Del Mar Theatre, Oct. 9, 7pm; Oct. 10, 4pm

Silent Love, which debuted at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, is the kind of film that sparks intense post-screening discussion. At least so says film critic and writer Morton Marcus, who sat on this year's Pacific Rim Film Festival Steering Committee.

'It's going to promote discussion about the ending, a discussion that reflects how two different cultures look at the notion of family and love," says Marcus of this Canadian/Mexican production about Norman (Noel Burton), a lonely English-speaking college film teacher who travels from Montreal to Mexico to meet Gladys (Vanessa Bauche), a much younger woman with whom he has been corresponding via an Internet matchmaking website. Assured that computer models give their marriage "a 61 percent chance of success," Gladys agrees to marry Norman, whose major passion in life is silent film, on one condition: that she can bring her widowed mother Fernanda (Susana Salazar) with them.

What actually follows are great scenes of mutual cultural misunderstanding, with the trio playing convincingly well off each other's actions or lack of them. Without wishing to give away the ending, suffice it to say that Fernanda rocks as the mature, intelligent beauty, who isn't unafraid of her wrinkles. And Gladys subverts the usual female stereotypes by being more interested in finding a loving husband than getting rich or escaping Mexico.

Co-written by director Federico Hidalgo and his wife. Paulina Robles, A Silent Love is underpinned by the subtle notion of the importance of gestures in silent film--a notion that becomes all the more poignant for the shy Norman as his wife and mother-in-law banter in Spanish while he watches their body language. (Sarah Phelan)

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From the October 5-12, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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