One Word from You

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Unas palabra tuya
Directed by Ángeles González Sinde
Produced by José Antonio Félez
Antón Reixa
Written by Ángeles González Sinde
Elvira Lindo
Starring Malena Alterio
Esperanza Pedreño
María Alonsa Rosso
Luis Bermejo
Antonio de la Torre
Chiqui Fernández
Marilyn Torres
Music by Julio de la Rosa
Release date
  • 2008 (2008)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish

Una palabra tuya (English: One Word from You) is a Spanish 2008 movie based on the novel of the same name by Elvira Lindo.

Plot[edit]

Two old classmates, Rosario (Malena Alterio) and Milagros (Esperanza Pedreño), who meet again after many years of not seeing each other since high school. After several failures with their own jobs, they end up working together as trash handlers, sweeping the streets of Madrid. The story begins when they have to travel to Milagros' village to bury her dead cat. The film was shot in Madrid and Huertapelayo (Zaorejas).

After many years without seeing each other, Rosario meets Milagros, her friend from childhood who works as a taxi driver using a car from her uncle's taxi company. Milagros starts driving her to the bank each morning where she works as a cleaner. Together, they spend lots of time going to restaurants and pubs, but Rosario gets worried about missing so much work and one day she is fired. Milagros admits later that she never had a driving licence, which, combined with her excessive kindness to Rosario, leads her to also be fired. After that, the two women find jobs as street cleaners. In that job, Rosario meets Morsa (Antonio de la Torre), with whom she starts a carnal relationship.

Meanwhile, Rosario lives with her mother whose physical and mental health are quickly deteriorating. One day, when Rosario arrives home from work, she discovers that her mother was going to have dinner in the bathroom. After that, Rosario sees more strange behavior from her mother. She begins to forget important things, such as that her other daughter is married. This fact confirms for Rosario that her mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Rosario feels very worried and alone. She keeps finding her mother hiding in Rosario's wardrobe; on the first day that Rosario brings Morsa home from work to have sex, she watches her mother walk out of her closet, horrified. As her mother's condition worsens, Rosario calls both her sister and Milagros over to the house.

After burying Milagros's cat, Morsa, Rosario and Milagros return to Madrid to keep working. Rosario's mother is dying and her siter comes from Barcelona to stay some days with her. Rosario's sister never took any responsibility for their mother, which is motive for tension between the sisters. Rosario reproaches her sister for always being distant towards her and her mother, while her sister gets angry with Rosario for letting Milagros stay at her home. Both women remember their childhood together, talking about the funny moments and the painful ones. Soon after, their mother stops breathing.

After her mother's death, Rosario sees the image of her mother everywhere, to a point that it scares her and doesn't let her sleep. She visits the priest of the church where her mother used to go. There, she tells him her problem and he concludes that perhaps she sees the image of her mother everywhere because she didn't want her daughter to be alone.

One night whilst sweeping and washing a plaza, Milagros and Rosario are bickering over whether or not Milagros should keep some of the trash she finds when Milagros hears a baby's cry inside of a dumpster. She reaches in and discovers a baby inside a box. Rosario insists on taking the baby to a hospital emergency room, but Milagros wants to keep him at her home. They have a heated discussion where Rosario says Milagros would not be a good mother and Milagros confesses that she is sterile. Milagros says that she loved Rosario to a point that she felt jealous because she had her own life with Morsa, and that Rosario was cold and lonely and bitter, destined to be alone. Rosario finally realizes her terrible problem of loneliness and lack of confidence with other people, though she could not admit it. Days after this incident, Rosario's boss realises that Milagros had been out for a lot of time. Rosario decides to visit her, taking some flowers and chocolates. In Milagros' home, Rosario is horrified to discover that the baby Milagros took in is already dead, in an advanced state of decomposition.

Completely devastated and depressed, both women and Morsa return to the village to bury the baby in the cemetery, and Rosario recites the 51st Psalm. Rosario and Morsa returned to Madrid, but Milagros wants to stay, something her two friends cannot understand. Worried, Rosario says that she would be all alone with nobody beside her, but Milagros insists and decides to stay in that village for good. Some days later, Milagros is telephoned by her uncle Cosmé. He informs her that his niece has been found dead in the house of the village. This fact further devastates Rosario, who goes with Milagros's uncle to assist in the burial. During the trip to the village, Cosmé tells Rosario that his niece's mother died because of overdose when she was a little child. There, Rosario sees how her friend is buried in the cemetery, in a funeral where all the village people attended.

After the hard journey to the village, Rosario admits that she must not be alone anymore, so she decided to go to Fuenlabrada, where her friend Morsa, lives. Rosario makes her way to the playground, and sees all the mothers with their children. Morsa's van stops nearby, and after a short chat, the film ends with a kiss between Morsa and Rosario.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Cinema Writers Circle Awards (Spain)
    • Won: Best Screenplay – Adapted (Ángeles González Sinde)
    • Won: Best Supporting Actor (Antonio de la Torre (actor)|Antonio de la Torre)
    • Won: Best Supporting Actress (Esperanza Pedreño)
    • Nominated: Best Film
  • Goya Awards (Spain)
    • Nominated: Best New Actor (Luis Bermejo)
    • Nominated: Best New Actress (Esperanza Pedreño)
    • Nominated: Best Original Song (for "Entre tu balcón y mi ventana")
    • Nominated: Best Screenplay – Adapted (Ángeles González Sinde)

External links[edit]