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El planeta

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United States

2021

1h 21m

Director Amalia Ulman

Starring Amalia Ulman, Nacho Vigalondo, Ale Ulman, Zhou Chen

Genre Comedy

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A woman forced to return to Spain after the death of her father, reconnects with her eccentric mother, hustling to maintain the semblances of their middle-class lifestyle in the face of an impending eviction. Over the course of the week, the daughter's hopes are tested as she attempts to use her sexuality as a means of escape.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

91

The Playlist by Andrew Bundy

Ulman’s black and white freshman feature is an absurdly and assuredly packed jack-in-the-box that’s short, sweet, and, incidentally, a quirky sharp, vainglorious commentary on these post-crisis, Robinhood Redditor times.
70

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

The plotting is haphazard and laced with meandering detours that don't always pay off, but there's a distinctive voice in the deadpan humor and poignancy in the story's collision of aspirational self-delusion with blithe resignation.
83

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The appeal of El Planeta lies with a pair of women who prefer to live in the moment rather than considering its consequences.
80

Variety by Guy Lodge

There’s a fine, even invisible, line between dignity and denial in “El Planeta,” a fine-grained portrait of everyday poverty amid the lingering wreckage of the global financial crisis. Yet this pithy, distinctive debut feature from artist-turned-filmmaker Amalia Ulman eschews kitchen-sink realism for a deadpan vein of black comedy somewhere on the very wide spectrum between Lena Dunham and early Pedro Almodóvar.
70

Film Threat by Lorry Kikta

The movie is a shared experience between a mother and daughter that could tread into the undeniably cheesy or depressing territory but has a tattered joy to it. It’s a low-budget slice of life, which we don’t see too many of these days.
75

The Film Stage by Matt Cipolla

As a fully-fledged statement, El Planeta wavers about as much as it succeeds. As observational comedy with a bit of bite, it signals good things for Amalia Ulman as a filmmaker.
83

Paste Magazine by Natalia Keogan

The frequently complicated relationship between mother and daughter has fostered plenty of cinematic investigation, but El Planeta easily distinguishes itself as a uniquely meta and universal addition to the canon.
70

The New York Times by Teo Bugbee

This is a dry comedy that elicits amused recognition rather than belly laughs, and Ulman, as a first-time feature director, makes canny decisions to set a wry tone.