Combustible Celluloid
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With: Penélope Cruz, Luis Tosar, Asier Etxeandia, Teo Planell, Alex Brendemühl, Anna Jiménez
Written by: Julio Medem
Directed by: Julio Medem
MPAA Rating:
Running Time: 111
Date: 05/20/2016

Ma Ma (2016)

1 Star (out of 4)

Unreached Goals

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz (Volver, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Nine) tries her best with one of her full-blooded performances as Magda, a woman battling breast cancer and relating to the various men — and soccer lovers — in her life. In this tragic Spanish-language drama, writer and director Julio Medem (Sex and Lucia) attempts to capture the flow of dreams, thoughts, imagination, and reality, but with disastrous results. It's almost as if the filmmakers were dared to make the worst possible choices in every situation, up to and including Magda's weird obsession with her doctor's attempted (but failed) adoption of a Russian girl. It's a disease-of-the-week drama gone terribly wrong, and it's truly painful to watch. On top of everything else, co-star Asier Etxeandia sings a few cringe-worthy songs.

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