WHAT'S IT ABOUT

Laura (Penélope Cruz) travels with her two children from Argentina to her hometown in Spain to attend her sister’s wedding, but the initially joyous celebration is thrown into chaos when the elder daughter disappears.

What did we think

  1. Peter Linning March 1, 2019

    Everybody Knows centres around a well-worn but effective premise - that of a traumatic event peeling back layers of secrets, lies, and long-held grudges in a community. The movie opens strongly, taking it's time to set the scene and introduce you to all of the key players (namely Cruz, and an excellent Javier Bardem as her ex-lover) and the early scenes of the family celebrating the wedding are genuinely delightful, with all the actors delivering incredibly natural and relaxed performances. The disappearance of Laura's daughter Irene is similarly well-handled, with an increasing sense of dread and tension as the family comes to terms with what has happened. It's at this point that the movie starts working against itself, scenes that should be evoking distress and anguish instead feel plodding and drawn-out. The actual mystery is eventually resolved without a great deal of fanfare, but I can't help but feel that the resolution suffers from a lack of focus. As a fan of director Asghar Farhadi's earlier work I assumed I would love this movie, and it's not a bad movie by any means, but ultimately feels like a missed opportunity.

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