From Bradford UNESCO City of Film, we write about photography, film and television, and daily life in a national museum.
Here’s what I watched on day three of the festival, when Alzheimer’s and a woman living as a man were top of my agenda (not a typical Sunday night).
This animated film is a touching and funny portrayal of Alzheimer’s disease, centred around Emilio, whose family move him into a care home because they are unable look after him in his deteriorating condition.
Once Emilio is in the care home, we meet a collection of senior citizens, each suffering from (and surviving) different afflictions. But they are not merely the sum of their medical aliments and age; they have strong personalities and relationships. This is exemplified by the ‘bromance’ that Emilio forms with his cunning roommate Miguel.
This has to be my favourite film of the festival so far, and the gentle but human approach it has to such a taboo subject is to be commended. It portrays the effect that Alzheimer’s has on the sufferer and their family and friends in equal measure. Accomplishing this while maintaining a wry sense of humour which never devalues the issues it probes, shows the skill of first-time director Ignacio Ferreras.
I would strongly recommend you see this the first chance you get.
Glenn Close plays Albert Nobbs, a waiter eagerly counting the pennies until he can afford to buy a shop and find independence in a society that won’t accept Albert’s true identity.
The tension created through the threat of discovery, and Albert’s attempt to forge a ‘normal life’ is an original premise. Unfortunately, I think that the film fails to pursue what could have been an insightful portrayal of transgender and lesbian relations in the 19th century. For me, the supporting cast steals the show, serving up complex and well-developed characters despite their short screen time. In summary, this is a story brimming with promise, that instead falls short.