Carmen (\N)

Natascha McElhone, Richard Clarkin, Steven Love, Henry Zammit Cordina, Michaela Farrugia, Peter Galea,
In a small Mediterranean village, Carmen has looked after her brother, the local priest, for her entire life. When the Church abandons Carmen, she is mistaken for the new priest. Carmen begins to see the world, and herself, in a n...
  • 5.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2019-08-01 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Director:
  • Coral Aiken, Pierre Ellul, Anika Psaila Savona, Producer:

All subtitles:


3 / 10

What was that?

I'm a big fan of Natascha Mcelhone and I'm so glad I have seen her performances in other films, before watching this. I can't remember having dragged myself through a worse movie in many, many, many years. It's awful. The story is thin at best and the acting is amateurish beyond belief and the songs from this will keep me up at night for weeks to come. Scenery is nice though, that's it. I'm sorry, but there's absolutely nothing to like about this movie, except for how gorgeous Natasha McElhone looks, while she does her lines with a bad accent. I've seen school plays more convincing than this garbage. Please do not trust high star reviews of this, you will not be rewarded for your time, nor patience.

8 / 10

Blossoming in middle age after three decades of repressed living

It's a comedy-drama set in the 1980s in the Republic of Malta. It follows the life of a late-40s woman after the sudden death of her older brother. She had served as a housekeeper for her Catholic priest brother for 30 years. It's loosely based on the life experience of the director's aunt.

Carmen (Natascha McElhone)'s family forced her to look after her brother, Father Francis (Henry Zammit Cordina), from age 16. He is austere and disliked by his small-town parish. After his death, another priest plans to come. The new priest's sister, Rita (Michaela Farrugia), will look after him.

Carmen has nowhere to go, but God keeps supplying signs to guide her. Some of the options she chooses are engaging and very funny. At one point, Carmen has a relationship with a young pawnbroker, Paulo (Steven Love), which includes more drama. Throughout, we have flashbacks to a relationship she had as a young girl with an Arab boy, Ahmad (Chakid Zidi).

There is a resolution of sorts by the end, though some story threads are incomplete.

This engaging movie is about blossoming in middle age after three decades of repressed living. Natascha McElhone is excellent, as is Steven Love as Paulo. Many of the fringe players are also very good. The cinematography makes full use of Malta's beauty. Highly recommended.

The director grew up in Toronto but had a Maltese heritage. The film is a joint Canadian-Malta project.

6 / 10

Mildly implausible story of woman "freed" in middle age

Since the late WWII period, when she was 16, Carmen has been the unpaid housekeeper for her brother, the local priest. When he dies suddenly in the 1980s, a local woman's brother is supposed to be the replacement priest, and that woman will act as his housekeeper, displacing Carmen. The Catholic Church hypocritically and heartlessly throws Carmen out on the street, where she has various adventures and misadventures, helped in part by her knowledge of church processes.

Her backstory is that her life was saved by a young Arab, with whom she fell in love, and with family opposition, her role as housekeeper was the equivalent of "get thee to a nunnery".

Carmen's transformation from dour housekeeper to glamorous woman was a delight, as was the scenery. While this was "based on a true story", I wonder how much is fiction. Carmen seems to be good at giving advice to others, while she seems so naive herself. Meanwhile, the ending is a tad too Shakespearean for me.

5 / 10

maltese filmmakers and films...

Are not as commo0n as films filmed and produced with malta playing the location settings for the common middle eastern city/country where shooting films aint possible or is far too expensive. So where shall i set my expectations to this merely native one...?

Its a small story that wouldve worked perfect if they had used silenced acting or pantomiming( like sweedish''pablo picassoes eventyr'', or armenian ''the bra''). Because the script cannot be more than 2 a-4 papers, and the beauty of the maltese natural and human qualities tells more than the vocals do. Its a film about love and lust, and the lack of it, loads of cultural rites and religion, faith and unfaithfullness. Its all made on a dime and they really suck it as a maltese candy, the acting is profound but hitherto quite amateuristic, but by all means its sweet.

I wanda if they got paid by the maltese government with a 27% bonus for mentioning ''malta'' in the script??? The grumpy old man recommends this to everybody loving the maltese nation and people, for the rest of the world its a curiosa.

8 / 10

Lovely, Sweet, Charming film.

Carmen is a film about faith and kindness, lonliness and love.

It's a quirky and charming comedy drama about a lady named Carmen who hasn't been dealt the best cards in life. But with the passing of her brother , the priest, she finds new possibility in her lonely adventure.

Certainly this film makes some light hearted pokes at Catholicism, but it's all very much in good spirit. Essentially suggesting that religion is also about fun and that surely, the Lord wants us to happy, even if he has mysterious ways of showing it.

The music is lovely, the scenery is pleasantly mediteranean, and the soul is very much that of a 1960's quaint romance, with a touch of tradgedy.

Carmen is a warm and endearing film that will leave you with a smile on your face and a chuckle in your tummy.

Check it out, it's nice. :-)