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Live Twice, Love Once • Movie review Affecting dramedy about facing Alzheimer's cursing
By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media January 23, 2020
Live Twice, Love Once (Vivir dos veces) knows what it's job is and does it well. --El Pais
As with any great comedy, the drama quota is here to reinforce empathy with characters drawn with rigor, who grow incessantly before our eyes. --Fotogramas
Live Twice, Love Once, an award-winner in Spain, is a mature film that deals effectively with both family separation and reconciliation in sorrowful times.
Emilio Pardo (Oscar Martinez) lives a mostly solitary life in LIVE TWICE, LOVE ONCE. Retired from a lifetime of teaching, Emilio is content with his music, his home, his visits to a neighborhood cafe, and the challenge of Sudoku.
A few lapses of memory and a bit of confusion send him to the local hospital where he discovers that he has Alzheimer's disease.
Hoping to keep the news to himself, Emilio is more than a little irritated when his daughter Julia (Inma Cuesta) immediately learns of his condition. What was to be Emilio's solitary path now becomes a family affair. And what a family it is: Felipe (Nacho Lopez), Julia's husband, is an overzealous "life coach," and Blanca (Mafalda Carbonell) is about as self involved and annoying as an 11-year-old can be.
Julia wants her dad to move in with them, but Emilio adamantly refuses. What he doesn't tell them is that the first thing he's going to do is find the young girl who was his first love before he's destined to forget her. In trying to spend what may be his last cogent days on a long-wished-for quest, Emilio is reminded that life can be messy, especially when family is involved.
A fresh take on a familiar concept, sharp writing and directing, along with wonderfully complex characters and performances, deliver both laughs and tears in this well-told story.
Live Twice, Love Once, an award-winner in Spain, is a mature film that deals effectively with both family separation and reconciliation in sorrowful times. Young Marfalda Carbonell's feature debut as Blanca is remarkable. The film's creative team, however, struggles with the resolution. As the story plays out, there are a surplus of possible final sequences. The one they choose for Emilio Pardo felt more forced than they probably realized. Still, the movie is well worth a look.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the joys of watching movies from other countries. What do audiences learn about the commonality of humanity by seeing different lives and cultures? Which scenes in Live Twice, Love Once felt familiar?
Movies can be plot-driven, character-driven, or action-driven. Find out what those terms mean. In which category does this movie best belong? Why?
Live Twice, Love Once has a well-defined take on generational differences. How did the filmmaking team clearly differentiate the three generations of folks in the story?
Think about Blanca's character arc. What events and situations were important in shaping her growth? How did her intuitive behavior positively affect the behavior of her parents and grandfather?