4 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 128 minutes
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Sex and Lucia is a dark sexual dream, the culmination of desires both spoken and unspoken and what happens when they meet real life.  It is something you will watch and then think about for days after, mentally digesting what you saw on screen.  Perhaps being disturbed by it.  Perhaps being enlightened.  Either way, it will get in your head and stay there for quite some time.

Lucia (the always enchanting Paz Vega) escapes to an unnamed island in the Mediterranean after her boyfriend dies.  There she meets some new friends and begins to unravel what really happened in the past.  To give away more is to give away too much.  This is one of those films where the less you know going into it, the better.  Have faith in director Julio Medem and he won’t steer you wrong.  At the same time understand you are never truly safe in his hands because he bears gifts … and blades.

Medem tackles some tough subjects and seems to have a real knack for knowing what makes characters tick, and this isn’t always the most positive of things for viewers expecting a light-hearted sensual romp.  Here he has written and directed a story that will be sure to please fans of good storytelling, erotica and foreign films.  More than that, however, he has created a character study where the motivating factor is lies, love and lusts.  It takes some skill to pull this movie off, but Medem is more than amply equipped.  Under a lesser director this would have become a convoluted mess with nudity being the only thing it has going for it.  Instead, this is one of those rare films where you actually forget the sex and nudity until it really matters and then you realize that what you are seeing is often just twisted enough (yet very realistic) that you become uncomfortable.

In a word, this one is brilliant, though it does take some time to get to the ultimate payoff.  Stick with it, though, and you will be handsomely rewarded.

Posted on September 29, 2013 in Reviews by

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