The Lovers of the Arctic Circle
Time Out saysOtto is just eight years old when he falls in love with Ana. The first time she lays eyes on him, she sees her dead father looking back at her. And Otto's father, Alvaro, he too falls in love, with Ana's mother Olga. They make a family with a faultline running through its heart. Teasing, allusive and elusive, this is also Medem's most deeply felt movie to date. He can't resist games, patterns and stratagems; his latest is a kaleidoscope of circles revolving within circles, as his young lovers settle into an uneasy and intense emotional orbit. He alternates points of view, relating events from Otto's perspective, then from Ana's. It's an inspired ploy, accomplished with a magical sleight of hand: both these youngsters live - and love - inside their heads; their relationship is almost telepathic, a secret from their parents and, virtually, themselves. As they get older and look back, there's also much play on something Ana likes to call 'Fate', but which we're free to read as coincidence: recurring motifs interlace the fleeting years. Witty, thrilling, ineffably and tragically romantic, with a distinguished, delicate score by Alberto Iglesias, and sharp, shrewd performances, this is fabulous film-making; a love story which burns like ice.