LFF Film Review: Leap Year (Ano Bisiesto)

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Interior Monologue

Warning: This review discusses key plot points.

“I’ve waited two weeks for a plumber to fix my girlfriend” – this, perhaps a Freudian slip, overheard from a critic awaiting this Mexican tale of metropolitan alienation. It was, curiously, somewhat appropriate, alluding to the Ibsenesque fallacy that germinates in the minds of many men; the idea that women are a utilitarian bolt-on to their masculinity, rather than people in their own right.

This is the dominant theme of Leap Year, with a story that casts a dispassionate eye over the hidden lives of ordinary people; that “what lies behind closed doors” mystery that’s more acute in the built up environs of major cities. This is ironic given that humanity is more concentrated there, yet it’s also more atomised and lonely than in pastoral settings; community tending to keep the individual company.

Rowe’s film graphically showcases the surface details that characterise single occupancy; a lonely and solitary woman masturbating while spying on her handsome neighbours, picking her nose, mooching around in baggy pyjamas and bringing strangers home for junk sex. Her heartbreaking lack of self-esteem and a willingness to be sexually exploited are very much in evidence. But the film has secrets of its own and an attentive audience is invited to turn detective, scrutinising the clues to unpick what lies behind the lack of self-regard.

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Directed by: Michael Rowe

Country: Mexico

Year: 2010

Running Time: 92 mins

Certificate: 18


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