A disappointing film of The Year and the Vineyard

A disappointing film of The Year and the Vineyard

I did not see Jon Cenzual’s first feature, The Soul of Flies (El Alma de las Moscas), but soul is not the only quality lacking in his dire, second feature, The Year and the Vineyard, (El Año y la Viño).

In a rambling prologue, rendered all the more unpleasant by jarring upbeat ‘regional’ music playing over a first person narrator telling us that he is Andrea Pesce (Andrea Calabrese), a Sicilian member of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War.

When the music finally dies down, we see local people gathered around Andrea who is lying in a field in North Central Spain.  The locals believe him to be an angel, so while Tomas, the village teacher (Fede Sanchez) befriends Andrea, the overly enthusiastic priest (Javier Saez) tests him to see if Andrea is an angel or a saint. So Andrea has a choice between staying in the peaceful countryside of 2012 or going back to war – and the woman he loves.  Never mind that there is no way for him to get back to 1937.

Is it the intentional irony of the film that 2012 in the province of Salamanca seems no different from 1937?  Although Andrea cannot believe he is in 2012, no one shows him a TV set or a mobile phone to convince him. The cars are clearly clues, but he never looks at the cars.

Andrea seems uninterested in the fact he has time travelled, and even less interested in what modern times have to offer. He asks surprisingly few questions.  Another anomaly is that Andrea apparently fell to earth in a parachute but there is no parachute around him when he is found.

The acting is so poor and the story so unbelievable that boredom sets in early on and seldom leaves.  The film is supposed to be a comedy, but no one in the rapidly decreasing audience of critics was laughing.

Joyce Glasser – MT film reviewer