FILM REVIEW: Año Bisiesto (Leap Year)

Director: Michael Rowe
Release Date: 26.11.10

Winner of the Camera D’or Prize at Cannes this year, this is the debut feature film of Australian director Michael Rowe.

It’s set in the Mexican apartment of freelance journalist Laura Lopez and follows 29 days in her life. She is a young woman struggling to survive in the impersonal Mexican capital while isolated from her family. Laura works from her apartment and her main source of contact is by phone.

Año Bisiesto explores issues of loneliness, sexuality and the difficulty in forging emotional bonds.

Laura is superbly portrayed by Mónica Del Carmen (‘Babel’).  Her performance is assured and frightening in its reality. The relationship that develops between her and Arturo, played by Gustavo Sánchez Parra (‘Amores Perros’, ‘Man on Fire’) is convincing.

It’s harrowing to watch at times and provokes a claustrophobic mood. It is compulsive viewing, raw in its realism, which is truly refreshing.

Leap Year is a minimalist film that stays with you long after the credits roll.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Susan Cummins.

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