© 2007 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.

In 1913 Barcelona, the nine-months pregnant
Alma (Leonor Watling) seemingly has been
abandoned by her psychiatrist husband León
(Alex Brendenmühl). She had a fleeting glance
of someone leaving their apartment,
running down the stairs as she ascended in the
elevator, but she cannot remember anything
about who the person was – or even if it was a
man or a woman. She convinces herself that it
was one of her husband’s patients and turns
for assistance to her uptight brother-in-law
Salvador (Luis Tosar) who is also a psychiatrist.
Alma is keenly aware that her sister Olivia
(Núria Prims) may not exactly like the
arrangement, as Olivia is wildly jealous of her,
so she strives to keep it hidden. Complicating
matters is the presence of the newly hired
housekeeper Señora Mingarro (Mercedes
Sampietro), who appears to discharge her duties
while intoxicated.

There are several mysteries abounding in
UNCONSCIOUS, directed with flair by Joaquín
Oristrell and scripted by Oristrell, Teresa de
Pelegri, and Dominic Harari. Alma and Salvador
set out to uncover why León disappeared so
suddenly by studying his thesis, and tracking
down the four women patients profiled. In each
case, Alma and/or Salvador misread the signs
and end up causing more grief. As they struggle
to locate the missing man, Salvador resorts to
hypnotizing Alma, but succeeds in putting
himself under, thus revealing his deepest secret
– namely that he is and always has been in love
with Alma.

With an impending visit from none other than
Sigmund Freud himself, they uncover a hidden
world peopled by pornographers, cross-dressers,
and drug addicts.

UNCONSCIOUS is gorgeous to watch thanks to
the terrific production design of Llorenç Miquel,
the costumes of Sabine Daigeler, and the stellar
cinematography of Jaime Peracaula. Oristrel
frames the story as if it were a film within a
film, with each chapter given its own title, and
the clacking of a film reel
unspooling as both a visual and audio clue to
the start of each new segment.

The performances are uniformly terrific, but
special mention must go to Watling as Alma
(displaying a wonderful comic ability) and Tosar
as Salvador.

I'd advise that you keep an eye out for this; it’s
one of the most visually stunning and  original
movies to come along in a while.

Rating:                 B+
MPAA Rating:        R for sexual content
                             including dialogue,
                             and some drug
 Running time:       100 mins
© 2006 Regent Releasing/Here! Films