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December 14, 2006

PAN'S LABYRINTH — CANNES 2006

COLE SMITHEY

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04722cov Modern gothic maestro Guillermo del Toro ("The Devil's Backbone") weaves a fertile narrative tapestry about Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a whimsical little girl uprooted with her ailing pregnant mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) during Franco's postwar Spain to go live with Carmen's cruel new husband Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez).

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When mother and daughter arrive at the rural abandoned mill Vidal has converted into a military headquarters for his troops, Ofelia escapes the oppressive atmosphere by exploring an old garden labyrinth where she meets a strange faun (Doug Jones) who assigns her tasks to prove her royalty as a princess.

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Ofelia's dark fantasies are matched by the barbaric reality around her. Inspired by C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia," "Pan's Labyrinth" is a deeply personal treatise on the defense mechanisms that children use to deal with war and death.

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Bent.

Rated R. 120 mins.

4 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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