Every Stewardess Goes to Heaven

Published on: March 23rd, 2004



Todas las Azafatas van al Cielo : Argentina/Spain 2002 : Daniel Burman : 98 mins

Don’t be put off by the dippy title – this is no ‘trolley dolly’ camp-fest along the lines of Alan Cumming’s BBC show The High Life. Instead, debutant director Burman delivers an upbeat but restrained character-based comic romance featuring an unusual couple and some unlikely backdrops. Pudgy dentist Julian (Vincent d’Onofrio lookalike Alfredo Casero) has been miserable ever since the suicide of his air-hostess wife, and he heads to the snowy wilds of the Falkland Islands, determined to freeze to death. But stewardess Teresa (Ingrid Rubio) arrives at exactly the same remote spot at exactly the same time, with similarly suicidal intentions. Fate, it seems, has a plan for them both.

As well as the tricky romantic angle, Burman aims to craft a frothy lampoon of people whose are fine in the air, hopeless on the ground. While some of the aeroplane-terrorism jokes may seem somewhat awkward post-9/11, it’s hard to avoid being carried along: like the cobbled-together plane we keep hearing about through the film, this may be a slightly ungainly and enterprise, but it gets quite nimbly from A to B. Burmann doesn’t do anything very flashy, and allows his actors to get on with it. Wisely – the enormously engaging Rubio is a real find, though some viewers may be distracted by the fact she’s what Matt LeBlanc would look like if he were a thin, beautiful, Latina.

15th March, 2002
(seen 12th February, Zoo Palast Berlin – Berlin Film Festival)

by Neil Young
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