A delightful romantic comedy about the adventures of Fernando, a young army deserter in 1931 Spain, who, because of his cooking skills, is given refuge by an eccentric artist on a rambling country estate. The arrival of the artist’s quartet of beautiful daughters for a summer holiday inevitably leads the lusty Fernando to indefinitely extend his stay and thus ensure a succession of enjoyably complicated romantic encounters. Casting an unusual and surprisingly sunny light onto Spain in the years before the civil war, Belle epoque is a lush, sensuous, gorgeously photographed film with a nice line in gentle farce as Fernando is chaotically bounced from one daughter to another. The film is enhanced by relaxed ensemble acting from its cast and particularly the sensitive performance of Penelope Cruz as the youngest daughter.
Spain-Portugal-France, 1992. English subtitles. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby stereo SR. 110 mins