A Perfect Day is the newest film from Spanish director Fernando Leon de Aranoa. The film is made by Spaniards, told in English, and takes place in the Balkans, a very curious mix, which nonetheless produced one of the best films of the year.
Spanish physician Paula Farias (Doctors without Borders) wrote a novel based on her experience in the Balkans and the present film (an English spoken Spanish production) represents the cinematographic transposition of her work.
It's a lovely movie with no plot: it just narrates how common people could spend a day (actually a couple of days) trying to help, in the middle of events enormously bigger than them.
There are no heroes here, only experience. No guilt, just sorrow. No right way to do things besides thinking and wishing to care. And then there is fate, of course.
A (good) way to look at the world.
The compelling story begins with a simple event that becomes a complex masterpiece.
"A Perfect Day" opens as a group of aid workers in the war torn Balkan region struggle to pull a dead corpse out of the village well before the rotting flesh poisons the water.
When their only rope breaks and the body falls back down the well, the team leader Mambru (Benicio Del Toro), his garrulous friend, B (Tim Robbins), the novice aid worker, Sophie (Melanie Thierry), and the local translator, Damir (Fedja Stukan) must drive through the countryside searching for another rope.
Disheartened by ridiculous peace protocols, hostile natives, and invisible landmines, they find their only salvation is to act humanly in the present rather than cling to their past beliefs or live for their future dreams. Olga Kurylenko (Katya) and Eldar Residovic (Nikola) round out the cast.
The cinematography is also very simple, with few flourishes and Director of Photography Alex Catalan (Marshland, Unit 7) gives the movie a cold almost wintery look that makes the message and harshness of the story fall sharper and hit you harder. (From a variety of reviews on IMDB.com)
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