Review: In the Falangist Spain of 1944, a young girl escapes into a fantasy world when reality becomes increasingly bleak.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Actors: Ivana Baquero, Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil, Alex Angulo, Manolo Solo, Cesar Vea, Roger Casamajor, Ivan Massague, Francisco Vidal and Juanjo Cucalon
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi and War
This is just such a wonderful film. The director Guillermo del Toro has said that this is the sister movie to The Devil’s Backbone (2001) and both are quite similar to each other. He is famous for compiling books full of notes and drawings before turning his ideas into a film. All the drawings for this film he ended up leaving them in a back of a cab. Once he realised this he gave up on this project. When the cab driver found all the drawings etc he then went to great lengths to track down Guillermo del Toro. He was sure that it was a blessing and became more determined to complete the film. He started writing ideas for this film in 1993. The monsters in this are very beautiful looking but at the same time very scary to look at. It is about children but at the same time it is too scary for children to watch and not at all kid-friendly. A spellbinding performance from Ivana Baquero. When asked the meaning of this film to Guillermo del Toro he quotes “I always think of that beautiful quote by Soren Kierkegaard that says the tyrant’s reign ends with his death, but the martyr’s reign starts with his death. I think that is the essence of the movie; it’s about living forever by choosing how you die”. The theme that it explores is “Good vs. Evil vs. Innocence”. When screened at the Cannes Film Festival it received 22 minutes of applause. At the Academy Awards in 2007 this won three Oscars. They were for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Art Direction and also Best Achievement in Makeup. At the Bafta Awards in 2007 this won three awards. They were for Best Film not in the English Language, Best Costume Design and Best Make Up and Hair.