EVERYBODY KNOWS, from 2018, was written & directed by Ashgar Farhadi (A Separation, The Past), steering a superbly arranged mystery, where the pain of apprehension, dread and revelation generated by a crime are made palpably real, honestly felt. A large and adroitly chosen cast is headed by Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Ricardo Darin .
‘Laura’ (Cruz) brings her kids along to her rural hometown in Spain, to join in the family celebrating the marriage of her younger sister; husband ‘Alejandro’ (Darín) remains behind in Buenos Aires. During the revelry of the wedding bash, Laura’s teenaged daughter goes missing, and concern turns to shock when she isn’t found. Before Alejandro arrives, ‘Paco’ (Bardem), Laura’s childhood friend–and previous lover–takes charge of the search effort. But his role is hamstrung by Gordian knots in the family history.
Spilling any more of the plot would cheat the film and viewers of a richly evocative, complex and detailed suspense drama where the deeply layered human emotions take precedence over what in less-gifted hands might be an excuse for lazy thrills and calculated histrionic affect: suffice to say it’s beautifully acted, written & directed. Hard to go wrong with those three leads, a good story and a skilled hands at the helm. Photographed by Jose Luis Alcaine, shot in Torrelaguna, north of Madrid. Budgeted at $11,800,000, it registered an international gross of $19,176,000 ($2,678,000 of that in the States).
With Bárbara Lennie (‘Bea’, Paco’s conflicted wife), Eduardo Fernández (‘Fernando’, Laura’s brother-in-law), Ramón Barea (‘Antonio’, embittered family patriarch), Inma Cuesta (‘Ana’,Laura’s sister who’s getting married) Sara Sálamo (‘Rocio’, Laura’s niece), Carla Campra (‘Irene’, the vanished daughter of Laura and Alejandro). 132 minutes.