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“Journey to a Mother’s Room” Absorbing and Dreary





Review by John Delia

The film Journey to a Mother’s Room (Viaje al cuarto de una madre) plays like a Lifetime cable show with a plot that most TV watches have become accustomed. Not to say that the film doesn’t entertain, but it may not give more than a heartfelt feeling for love of family. The story spools out at a slow pace with not a lot of build up for its predictable ending. Targeted to the ladies, it would make a good film for a group outing.

Late teen bloomer Leonor (Anna Castillo) has been living with her father and mother under their thumb for all her life. Since the recent death of her father however, she’s been her mother’s Estrella (Lola Dueñas) shoulder to lean on. Getting more overprotected and wary of her future, her friend pushes her to leave the nest and travel from her home in Spain to London where she can spread her wings. She is considering the possibility, but worries about her mom living alone.

Estrella (Lola Dueñas) and her daughter Leonor (Anna Castillo) in JOURNEY TO A MOTHER’S ROOM

Estrella has been the bread winner with her sewing since he husband died, but lately Leonor has taken a job ironing clothes in a very busy establishment adding to the income. She sees that Leonor has made efforts to be on her own, but tries to not imagine what it would be like if she were not with her. When Leonor announces that she can get a job in London as an au pair and make a lot more money than she is making at her current job, plus a room and board, Estrella realizes she has to come a tough decision.

The movie tells the heartfelt story that includes the heartache, new found outlet for her feeling of loneliness and important decisions on Estrella’s part. First time director and writer Celia Rico Clavellino takes her script to the screen for a chance to show her ability to create a compelling story. Although she does make the movie interesting with this slice of life in the small Andalusian town, Journey to a Mother’s Room is more of a career breakout film than a mainstream winner.

Estrella (Lola Dueñas) and her daughter Leonor (Anna Castillo) in JOURNEY TO A MOTHER’S ROOM

Guiding the two accomplished actresses showed that it’s really not as easy as one may think to make a movie. She brings the two together in very moody scenes that make you wonder if the two characters are suffocating in their past, while waiting for something big to happen. When things finally even out, it’s more of a “so what” rather than a “wow”.

Journey to a Mother’s Room has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains language, smoking, and drinking. The subtitles are nicely displayed and some English is used in the film to show the modern day movement to learn the language.

FINAL ANALYSIS: An okay film for a stay at home night, mostly for women. (2 out to 5 stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Lola Dueñas, Anna Castillo, Pedro Casablanca
Directed and written by: Celia Rico Clavellino
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Spanish w/English Subs
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, contains language
Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.
Opening Date: May 17, 2019
Distributed by: Outsider Pictures
Released in: Standard

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