Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

by Almudena García

Actor Tom Hanks has been nominated this year as one of the candidates to win the Oscar Award 2020 for his role in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The movie was directed by Marielle Heller and produced by Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf and Youree Henley. It is based on the real story of well-known Fred Rogers, the host of the program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

The plot of the film is about a journalist who hates his father for abandoning him and her sister when their mother was dying. To cover up his pain, he criticizes all the people that he interviews. The man is obligated by his boss to interview Fred Rogers because nobody wants to work with him. Nevertheless, at the same time he meets Fred, his life will change greatly.

As a spectator, I won´t tell a lot of things about the film because I recommend everyone to watch it. In spite of this, I would like to talk about some details that have called my attention, like the moments when actor Tom Hanks repeats “mercy” along the film. This is what I want to talk about. Apart from having a good plot, it holds a precious message: to know how to forgive and to express your own feelings.

To conclude, in my opinion, watching this film in family is a fantastic way to learn how the feelings that we experiment also have to be shared with our loved ones, because they are the ones who know us best. Finally, it´s a pleasure to say that I really hope Tom Hanks wins the Oscar for his extraordinary work at this film.

Genes and Genealogies: Reflections on our Biological and Social Inheritance

by Irene Velasco

Have you ever heard that Charles Darwin, George Washington, Jane Austen, Humphrey Bogart or Lord Byron were descendants of Edward III? Even more, what if we were told that 80% of British people nowadays are descendants of Edward III? Probably, we will think that someone is pulling our leg. However, that was the beginning of the speech by Susanna Manrubia in the weekly Small Talk session at the EOI in Valdemoro.

Susanna Manrubia is a physicist who works at the Spanish National Biotechnology Center (CSIC). She researches about Evolutionary Systems, the relationship between genotype and phenotype, molecular and viral evolution and she is also interested in cultural patterns and collective social behaviour. What an interesting person!

She patiently and splendidly explained to us the way our ancestors converge at some point in the past due to what she called the “Grandparents Paradox”. To illustrate this, she used the royal genealogical tree of Edward III, where some ancestors appear up to six times, since nobles usually married within their own families. In Spain, we also have another example of this: Felipe II, whose both grandmothers were daughters of The Catholics Kings. Similarly, in a large scale, the tree of an individual joins other genealogical trees because their relatives appear repeatedly in the tree. The more we look into the past, the more repeated individuals we will find. Thus, we share ancestors. Furthermore, we have exactly the same ancestors at some point in the past.

The moral of this story is if we choose two random individuals and we go back into their past generations, they have got the same group of ancestors and it appears equal number of times in both of them.

On the grounds that we all come from the same ancestor, the question that comes to our mind is: Why are we so different to each other? Where is our diversity? Much to our surprise, the answer is simple: genealogy is not the same as genetics. Susanna showed us through different pictures how we receive 50% of our genes randomly from each of our parents and, as we go generations back, these genes are diluted into uncountable ancestors. For instance, at eight generations back, none of our genes comes from any given ancestor. We can have a well-known ancestor as Edward III or Genghis Kahn, but we have not inherited anything from their genome. Rather, each of our genomes is unique and make us special.

In the light of the above, on the philosophical question “Who are we?”, we can say that not only are genes and genealogy involved, but there are also a lot of other cultural, social and historical factors to take into account to answer this question accurately. Sussana Manrubia certainly gave us some food for thought!

Pain and Glory

by Lidia Corregidor

This film has been the first Almodovar’s film that I’ve ever watched. However, I´ve always watched parts of his movies in my cinematography classes. I tried to watch some of them but I didn’t find any motivation. When his film was available in streaming, I decided to watch it. When I finished the film, I was amazed. It was very interesting and real. Almodovar says that his film was inspired in his own life. So, this is one of the most important reasons why this film is so good.

Salvador Mallo is a former film director that is depressive. He feels worried about his life and all his works. Suddenly, he receives an honorary award and his friend and colleague tries to motivate him. So, Salvador will start to think about his past and how his mum taught him all the things that he knows and loves. In other words, he will try to be in peace with himself.

The best thing of this film is its color. Almodovar’s films are characterized by their bright colors. You can see the main color in every shot, but especially red. This film tells a real story. You can see Almodovar in every moment on his life. Furthermore, you can feel his emotion, understand his situation, be in his position and travel along his mind.

On the other hand, things happen very slowly. Sometimes, it seems that nothing interesting is happening. However, you don’t notice this during the film. The movie is well-known due to the director. If this movie hadn’t been made by Almodovar, people wouldn´t have any interest in watching it.

In my opinion, this is an interesting movie to watch if you like cinematography. You can enjoy it if you like to watch films about real issues. You can identify with some of the characters. And you can delight in the photography.

Mesón La Plaza

by Noris Rodríguez

This restaurant is located just in the main square of Valdemoro. The establishment is quite big with different areas; there is a small area with a bar and two dining-rooms inside, an air-conditioned terrace and an outdoor area, especially for the summer. The old-fashioned furniture makes the atmosphere very cosy.

All the food was very tasty and well presented. We tried a mix of croquetas, potato salad with tuna fish, hake with clams and beefsteak. The waiters were always kind and correct with all the costumers.

Even though I think it is not a cheap restaurant, I recommend it because of the high quality of all their products, the excellent service and the good location. You will enjoythe restaurant.

“Who Can Be Decent In An Indecent World?”

Resultado de imagen de joker
by Pablo González

Joker could has been directed by Martin Scorsese but finally he refused and the director is Todd Philips. It is an amazing thriller adapted from a cartoons’ story, with a budget of 55 million dollars; far away from the superhero´s films, its style links to the best seventies´ American cinema. Joaquin Phoenix is the main actor together with a great Robert De Niro, he shows us how angry and fed up the protagonist is with the XXI century.

The synopsis is the following. Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) lives in Gotham with his mother, and his only motivation in life is to make people laugh acting as a clown in small jobs. However, he has serious mental problems that make people see him as a freak. His biggest dream is to act as a comedian in front of the public but a series of tragic and unfortunate events will increase his anger against a society which ignores him. Even more, the plot is so gripping, haunting and thought-provoking at the same time that it is not possible to choose an only way to analyse the plot.

Joker is a film which has shocked me. The main reason is that it shows us how thin is the line between the hero and the villain, just by only moving a little your point of view, the doubts appear in your mind. As a negative point, I would like to say that this film is not suitable for children. Many families make the mistake of thinking they can take their children to the cinema just because the film is based on a cartoon story.

This film is a mirror where all of us can look at themselves. The tragic story shown is very common currently and each one of us will easily identify with a part of the character’s life. The race of feeling sad and miserable always ends up in the defensive stage of madness. When someone lives suffering troubles and seems not to find an exit, nobody can tell whether that person is going to react as a hero or as a villain.


Trainspotting  - Fotogramas
by Delcoss

Trainspotting is an adaptation from the fascinating book by Irvine Welsh. The film is set in Edinburgh, and tells the story of a group of heroin addicts.

The plot focuses on Mark Renton, a heroin addict who tries to stop the habit, and he manages to do it for a while, but eventually falls back into his addition. Meanwhile his friends do exactly the same thing that he does. All of them are immersed in an underworld of addition, crime and violence. The addict lifestyle is described as something without sense and empty of meaning, just like materialistic values promoted by the society.

The film is well acted by an excellent cast who have become pretty famous since then. It´s a black comedy; at times hilarious, tragic and moving. On the other hand, the movie doesn´t condemn drug addicts, but it´s more effective, since it shows the devastating consequences of drugs consumption.

Trainspotting is a film well worth seeing, it´s one of the most gripping and unconventional films ever made. Brilliantly acted, directed and written with the clear purpose of being thought-provoking.

El aviso

by Eye of the Needle

El Aviso is a Spanish thriller film set in the present day although with continuous flashbacks to the past- Located in Madrid, the action takes place at specific geographical point in this city.

The main characters are Jon, a young schizophrenic man with skills in mathematics, located in Madrid ten years before, and Nico, a ten years old boy who suffers bullying at school, at the present time.

The connection point is the place, where every now and then murders happen. Not being noticed by anyone, Jon discovers an unusual relation between some numbers because of an aggression to his best friend in this place. Not only ignored but also questioned due to his illness, he works on his mathematical theory, preparing some advertisements to avoid the next murder.

Scared and introvert, Nico is chosen as the following victim. Will get Jon his goal?

The strength of this film is the relation between the characters, both complicated and unpopular. It is a fast moving story with many flashbacks. Besides, the mathematical organization of random murders is interesting. In addition, Raúl Arevalo as Jon and Hugo Arbues as Nico are great.

In my opinion, it is a good film for entertainment, if you are looking for a haunting story rather than an Oscar’s winner.

Padre No Hay Más Que Uno

by Mel

The latest film I have seen is Padre no hay más que uno. It is an entertaining movie for all the family, with a lot of signs and cameos of different singers and famous Spanish people.

The story begins when a couple, who has planned an anniversary trip to the Caribbean Island, changes their plans due to the husband´s work. So, while the wife decides to travel with the companion of her sister in law, her husband stays at home taking care of their five children.

During the film, we can enjoy the realistic and humorous daily life of a father who faces for the first time in his life, working task and children raising activities completely alone. For instance, he has to manage the extremely active whatsapp school groups of parents. At the same time, he has to deal with a wide variety of extracurricular activities of all his children besides his own demanding job. Every day is a great adventure for him, despite the fact that he received all kind of specific instructions before his wife´s departure.

Padre no hay más que uno is an extremely amusing film with which parents will feel identified, and children will enjoy the stories and dialogs of each of the young characters.

Marriage Story

Resultado de imagen de marriage story
by Susana González

Marriage Story is a drama film which was written and directed by Noa Baumbach. The movie tells the story of a marriage whose main characters are interpreted by Scarlet Johansson and Adam Driver. In addition, it was first released in Venice last summer (2019) and got a Golden Globe.

The story begins when Nicole and Charlie decide to divorce. The main reason is that Nicole wants to be a film actress and to live in the L.A. However, she is a theatre actress living in N.Y. with her husband Charlie, a successful theatre director. As a result, she feels not only frustrated but also unhappy, that´s why, she decides to change her life. In spite of their decision to divorce, they feel a deep respect for each other. Nevertheless, when they decide to hire lawyers, their divorce becomes the most painful and dreadful experience that they have ever lived so far, which provokes their emotional and economic ruin.

The cast is excellent and allows us to see to an outstanding Scarlett Johansson. Although it is rather long and it is sometimes a little slow, the plot is interesting and absorbing.

Would I recommend this film? Of course! In fact, I think that you mustn’t miss it, given that it will change the way you see a divorce. What’s more, if some people had discussed with another about what they want before hiring lawyers, some couples would have been friends afterwards. Sometimes, communication is all we need.

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