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Elisa & Marcela – Isabel Coixet

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #133. Elisa & Marcela – Isabel Coixet

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #133. Elisa & Marcela – Isabel Coixet

Elisa & Marcela

Spanish director Isabel Coixet turns to Netflix for her latest feature, Elisa & Marcela, a recuperation of queer history in its examination of the first ever recorded marriage between two women in 1901. Produced by Jose Carmona and Zaza Caballos through Rodar y Rodar, Zenit TV and La Nube Peliculas. Cinematographer Jennifer Cox lensed the feature, serving as her first narrative feature. Celebrated Spanish actress Natalia de Molina (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed, 2013; Food and Shelter, 2015) and Greta Fernandez with a supporting cast consisting of Tamar Novas, Sara Casasnovas, María Pujalte, Francesc Orella, Lluís Homar, Jorge Suquet and Manolo Solo. Coixet commented Erich von Stroheim’s silent classic Queen Kelly (1929) starring Gloria Swanson was the visual inspiration for the film. Coixet has worked frequently in English, notably collaborating on several projects with Patricia Clarkson (Elegy, 2008; Learning to Drive, 2015; The Bookshop, 2017, which won three Goyas last year). She’s competed three times in Berlin (My Life Without Me, 2003; Elegy, 2003; Endless Night, 2015), once in Cannes (Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, 2009) and her 2005 The Secret Life of Words was an out-of-competition slot in Venice.

Gist: Coixet’s script is informed by A Coruna University scholar Narciso de Gabriel’s book on the two women, who researched them for fifteen years. Despite significant opposition to their relationship, Elisa Sanchez Lorga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas find a way to equal recognition by legally marrying in a church service when one of them adopts a male persona.

Release Date/Prediction: Elisa & Marcela shot in May 2018 and was in post-production throughout the summer, with initial footage shown at San Sebastian. The title could potentially be Coixet’s fourth time competing for the Golden Bear.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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