Spain, 2016, 101 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Fernando Colomo, Not Rated, Spanish with English Subtitles
"Two characters arrive at the same conclusion: 'an artist's work has much to say about its maker.' The film is chockful of details, the reflections of a great observer with nothing left to prove." - Javier Ocaña, El País
Fer is a down-on-his-luck director of commercials who is invited by old friend Miguel Angel to his island retreat in Menorca under the pretext of making a small doc about Joan, the octogenarian keeper of the orchard. Actually, Miguel Angel just wants to snap Fer out of his funk. As rooms appear to be at a premium, the filmmaker is installed in the home sculptress Nuria shares with her daughter Olivia. Everyone, it seems, has issues to resolve. Director Fernando Colomo ushered a new era of post-Franco Spanish comedies with Tigres de Papel (1977) and a couple of years later went on to produce Fernando Trueba's first film, the aptly titled Opera Prima. Three decades later, Colomo in his late sixties has made - totally under the radar - the freshest, most liberated Spanish comedy of the year. Filming under his own auspices and working with non-actors playing themselves, Colomo assumes the pivotal role of Fer and turns Isla Bonita into an intimate summer interlude in the Mediterranean as his characters wrestle with the vagaries of love and life. Even though the movie shares the title of a Madonna single out of her third album, Isla Bonita is really a Spanish cousin to the romantic comedies of Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer. Colomo's invitation to plunge into this seasonal treat is not to be refused.