Discomfiting but riveting, this 2009 cocktail of psychodrama and pitch-black farce is tightly focused on a supremely dysfunctional family of codependents living in the discordantly beautiful Canary Islands. Reeling from the suicide of their schizophrenic father (Celso Bugallo), the three adult children, all borderline schizoid themselves, struggle to cope with no help whatsoever from their neurotic and controlling mother (Geraldine Chaplin). Eldest sister Gracia (Cristina Marcos) is an unstable telenovela star, seething middle-child Martin (Alberto San Juan) entertains delusions of being a novelist, and youngest sister Coral (Candela Peña) works as a cleaning lady; all three are fixated on unattainable love objects. Writer-directors Dunia Ayaso and Félix Sabroso are sometime accomplices of Pedro Almodovar and usually work in a similar comedic vein; here they re-purpose much of his signature style to far darker ends. The acting is uniformly superb. In Spanish with subtitles.
The Island Inside
NR • 2010