Elisa & Marcela

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Elisa & Marcela
Elisa & Marcela.jpg
Film poster
Directed byIsabel Coixet
Written byIsabel Coixet
StarringNatalia de Molina
Greta Fernández
Music bySofía Oriana Infante
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • 13 February 2019 (2019-02-13) (Berlin)
  • 24 May 2019 (2019-05-24) (Spain)
  • 7 June 2019 (2019-06-07)

Elisa & Marcela (Spanish: Elisa y Marcela) is a 2019 Spanish biographical romantic drama film directed by Isabel Coixet.[1] Starring Natalia de Molina and Greta Fernández, the film tells the story of Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas, two women who passed as a heterosexual couple in order to marry in 1901 at Church of Saint George in A Coruña becoming the first same-sex matrimony recorded in Spain.[2] It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.[3] It was released on 24 May 2019, in selected theaters in Spain, and on 7 June 2019, by Netflix.[4]


Critical reception[edit]

The film has received mixed reviews.

Jay Weissberg from Variety defined it “a dully made, frequently ridiculous eye-roller shot in standard issue black-and-white that gussies itself up as a brave clarion call for gay rights”,[5] while Lee Marshall from Screen considered Coixet's work “a conventional and predictably plotted period drama (...) [It] misses no opportunity to make forbidden love look as classy as a perfume ad.“ [6] Clarence Tsui from The Hollywood Reporter acknowledged that “wanting to make a point, the filmmaker has delivered a piece devoid of the emotional nuances that made Brokeback Mountain or Carol, to cite two seminal same-sex love stories, such gripping and heartbreaking viewing.“[7]

However there has been discussion amongst critics and viewers alike that some negative responses to the film indicate the discomfort and unfamiliarity of mainstream reviewers in seeing a film that refuses to cater to male-centric tastes, or mimic the dynamic of heterosexual storytelling. David Opie of Gay Essential writes "the passion their characters share is explosive, infusing each of their love scenes with a primal urgency that feels more real than most Hollywood romances. Never obscene for the sake of it, it’s clear that Elisa y Marcela was shot by a female director for a female audience. There’s no male gaze in sight here and rightly so."[8]


  1. ^ "'Elisa & Marcela' ('Elisa y Marcela'): Film Review Berlin 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  2. ^ Lothian-McLean, Moya (19 February 2018). "The incredible tale of Spain's first lesbian marriage is being made into a film". Stylist. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Selection for Competition and Berlinale Special Completed" (Press release). Germany: Berlin International Film Festival. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Netflix estrena el tráiler 'Elisa y Marcela', la nueva película de Isabel Coixet". El País (in Spanish). 13 May 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  5. ^ Weissberg, Jay (13 February 2019). "Berlin Film Review: 'Elisa & Marcela'". Variety. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  6. ^ Marshall, Lee (14 February 2019). "'Elisa And Marcela': Berlin Review". Screen. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  7. ^ Tsui, Clarence (13 February 2019). "'Elisa & Marcela' ('Elisa y Marcela'): Film Review, Berlin 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Gay Essential Review - Elisa y Marcela". The Gay Essential Film Blog. 1 March 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.

External links[edit]