Everybody Knows (Asghar Farhadi – 2018) A-

Ah those secrets people hide. They have a knack of coming out under stressful situations. Everybody Knows is a film about such secrets. In a small town in Spain, Laura (Penelope Cruz) is there to attend her sister’s wedding. It’s her hometown, but she lives in Buenos Aires now with her wealthy husband, daughter and son. The happy event in the pretty town is interrupted by the kidnapping of Laura’s daughter for ransom. The kidnapping might seem like the main plot here but really it is a catalyst that starts peeling away the layers that time and distance have piled on Laura’s life and her secrets. Her family still lives in that small town where everybody knows everyone else. Her ex-boyfriend, Paco (Javier Bardem), and his wife are still there too. There’s a lot of history across a few generations bubbling up. The pitch perfect performances and deft direction spin an emotional and raw tale that I loved.

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