Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed

A shy schoolteacher in small-town Spain catches a serious case of Beatlemania in 1966 and takes a road trip to Almeria, where How I Won the War is being shot, in hope of meeting John Lennon. En route he picks up two teenage runaways—a pregnant girl fleeing a center for unwed mothers and a withdrawn boy who has run away from his fascist father—and becomes a paternal figure to both. This 2013 period piece by writer-director David Trueba isn’t quite as mawkish as it sounds; as demonstrated by his previous drama, Madrid, 1987, he’s capable of stinging psychological insight, particularly when dealing with characters who came of age under fascism, and his laid-back pacing effectively counters his schematic plotting. Javier Camara, best known here for his work with Pedro Almodovar, is quite good as the teacher, delivering a performance of real tenderness and depth. In Spanish with subtitles.