• James Rutherford

'Everybody Knows': A Deeply Absorbing Kidnapping Thriller Wrought with Piercing Familial Discord


Movie poster for the Spanish film Everybody Knows starring Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz

“Everybody Knows” ("Todos Lo Saben") is a Spanish-language drama-thriller from 2018 that follows Laura (Penélope Cruz), a Spaniard living in Argentina, as she travels with her children from Buenos Aires to her hometown in Spain, in order to attend the wedding of her younger sister. Laura and her family enjoy a lively period of jubilation surrounding the wedding festivities, as relatives and friends come together and reunite—Laura’s old flame Paco (Javier Bardem) amongst the merrymakers. At the height of the wedding celebration, however, Laura’s daughter Irene suddenly disappears without a trace, setting off a frenzied search for the impressionable young teen. What ensues is a a dense, unnerving mystery as to Irene’s disappearance and whereabouts tied inextricably to the surrounding property owned by Paco and his family. Only after kidnappers contact Laura demanding a large cache of funds do the stakes come into full view, as the group's dynamics ultimately evolve toward hostility and bitter acrimony. Written and directed by renowned Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi ("About Elly", "A Separation"), “Everybody Knows” is a finely-wrought tale of intrigue and heightened human drama whose elements of piercing suspense will hold your attention through to its final frames. Building on the great success he has enjoyed in his home country, Farhadi extends his trademark brand of dynamic ensemble drama impressively within an alternate culturedelivering an evocative treatise on familial relations and the bonds of deeply abiding devotion.

 

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