- Director: Isabel Coixet
- Writer: Isabel Coixet; Narciso de Gabriel
- Producer: Zaza Ceballos; José Carmona
Do not watch the dubbed version...it is - truly - awful. We watched the dubbed version!
So, bearing that in mind, if the same amount of work [and talent] that went into the cinematography had gone into the script and/or the translation...perhaps, nothing would have been lost in the translation...because, everything has been lost...especially authenticity. This is a period piece...not a modern-day American soap!
As for the pacing, a snail couldn't go any faster than this arduous unfurling of a [fascinating] story. Even with an [oddly placed] octopus and an unexplained [phantom] pregnancy...this is a fascinating story, mishandled, mismanaged and mutilated beyond all recognition.
This lesbian couple will do [and do do] everything to stay together. One becomes a man, the other becomes [rather mysteriously] pregnant...it doesn't take long before everyone [and the church] notices that 'he' really isn't a man...and all Hell breaks loose. The drawn on moustache didn't help!
There is [abundant] eroticism...but, without any chemistry between the actors, it trespasses into the realm of soft porn...in black and white!
Elisa & Marcela's story [seriously] deserved a better [re-]telling than this...major disappointment. But...it might all be because of that [truly] hideous dubbing and the horrendous translation!
When Marcela and Elisa meet on their first day in high school, it is love at first sight. A deep friendship begins which soon turns into a romantic relationship. Nothing can prevent the two girls’ feelings for each other, not even Marcela’s suspicious parents, who eventually send their daughter to boarding school. Years later, the two women meet again and decide to live together. Both are respected teachers, but their partnership has to be kept secret from the critical Catholic population. For this reason, Elisa decides to pose as a man and marry Marcela. Their wedding photo depicts two young women, one in a black dress with her hair up, the other with a short haircut and wearing a suit; both are looking hopefully into the future. But their love remains exposed to great dangers. Based on true events, Isabel Coixet’s film makes use of black-and-white images and letters for her unfussy but deeply empathetic rendition of the story of Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas, who tied the knot in the church of San Jorge in A Coruña in Spain in 1901. A paean to passion, dignity and resistance.