Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Written by Pedro Almodóvar
Produced by Giuseppe Tornatore and Esther García
Original Music by Gustavo Santaolalla
Cinematography by Bruno Delbonel
Rodrigo Noya as Jaime
Penelope Cruz as Antonia
Carmen Maura as Luisa
Manuel Alexandre as Dr. Correa
Alejandro Agresti as Simón
Mex Urtizberea as Sebastián
Joanna Cobo as Cristina
Gael García Bernal as Fabrício
Tagline: “Destiny brings unexpected paths"
Synopsis: Destiny. A word with various definitions. What is destiny, what does it do? It was the past, it is the present and it will be the future. Destiny knows all. It brings unexpected paths that only it knows. There are happy paths that are so miraculous that you’ll feel like a beautiful butterfly full of life flying on an enormous blue. But there are sad paths that are so obscure that you’ll feel like desperate shadow trapped in a black cage full of misery and hate. Destiny can change these paths in the most radical way imaginable. This is the story of one boy whose path radically changed.
Jaime is 12 years old. His parents are divorced. He lives with his very understanding mother Antonia in a small apartment in Bogotá, Colombia. He often visits his wonderful grandmother Luisa and his uncle Sebastián; a writer, a theater director and a film enthusiast. Jaime’s passion in life is the cinema. He loves to go to movie theaters, to rent classic films and he expects to become a film director. Jaime’s father, Simón goes with him to see a film whenever he visits him. Jaime is very satisfied with his life but destiny is about to change everything.
A student from his school, Fabrício, will commit suicide by jumping from a fourteenth floor. Jaime learns of the tragedy the following day. Although he never knew Fabrício, he feels very depressed as he reflects about the departed boy and talks about him with friends and teachers. Jaime feels worse and worse and in the most uncertain and unexpected moment, he begins to remember a strong and heavy past. As the days pass, Jaime gets possessed in his thoughts as becomes a slave of himself. His first demons appear and Jaime begins to think that his life is wasted, that he doesn’t have any purpose and that he should throw himself from the window. The most dangerous and violent thoughts appear as he has a desperate fight with himself. He wants to die but he is afraid, he wants to live but he is afraid. Destiny has just arranged everything to torment the young boy.
A few days later, Jaime goes to see a film at a movie theater with his mother Antonia. In the middle of the film, Jaime thinks on his dark demons and takes the hand of his mother while he feels the suicide ideas. Antonia asked him what had happened to him and Jaime tells her about his suicide demons, his complex thoughts and his constant depressions. His mother Antonia is a strong woman and wasn’t going to let the situation the way it was. She would do anything to help her son and decided to send him to a psychologist.
Jaime begins to have sessions with Dr. Correa. The psychologist hears Jaime as he learns about his demons and an abuse story that happened to the boy when he was 11 years old. Dr. Correa tells Jaime that he is becoming an adult and that he’s afraid of confronting reality. Jaime has an enormous evolution as he stops being a slave of himself. He enters a chorus and his last demon disappears when an 18 year old girl called Cristina from the chorus tells him “Always remember that your life is more important than the opinion of the rest”. Destiny can bring dark and heavy paths but you have to affront them and love yourself.
Memorable Quote: Always remember that your life is more important than the opinion of the rest.
Rating: R for strong thematic elements, language and some sexual content
What the press would say:
Very few foreign language films make an impact at the United States but “Destiny” is simply one of those films. An amazing narration style with many metaphors and life lessons is crafted in a beautiful screenplay from Pedro Almodovar who was inspired by the true story of a Colombian boy. Almodovar also directs and gives a wonderful rhythm to the film with an amazing combination of colors in every shot and continues his newest style by making an intense and strong but elegant look at the story. This can be seen especially in the abuse part that is suggested but never shown. Almodovar also directs an excellent ensemble leaded by Rodrigo Noya in a complex role. Noya shows sensational acting skills as Jaime in a heartbreaking and powerful performance. He makes you believe that he is really Jaime an that he is living through a dark and heavy time as he suffers his suicide demons. Penelope Cruz plays the role of a mother who fights to have her son confronting his problems. Cruz gives a tremendous performance that lives you speechless. Carmen Maura plays one more time the role of a grandmother who secretly learns about the problems of his grandson and Manuel Alexandre gives a great portrayal as a psychologist who helps Jaime in his strongest moments. This astonishing portrayal about confronting reality and learning to love yourself is a riveting cinematic experience that will live in your memory for a long time.
Best Picture (AMPAS)
Best Motion Picture (Drama) (HFPA)
Best Ensemble (SAG)
Best Director – Pedro Almodovar
Best Actor – Rodrigo Noya
Best Actress – Penelope Cruz
Best Supporting Actor – Manuel Alexandre
Best Supporting Actress – Carmen Maura
Best Original Screenplay – Pedro Almodovar
Best Foreign Language Film – Pedro Almodovar
Best Score – Gustavo Santaolalla
Best Cinematography – Bruno Delbonel