MOVIE REVEW: The Queen of Spain [PREVIEW]

Despite being top-billed in Fernando Trueba’s The Queen of Spain, a sequel to his 1998 film The Girl of Your Dreams, Penélope Cruz only appears for the first half-hour of the film in snippets and clips of her embodying the glamour of the screen sirens of the 1950s. In the slyly-edited newsreel-style combination of real and faux-historical footage that opens the movie, Cruz’s character, the kindhearted but tempestuous Macarena Grenada, preens and flashes bright smiles, ducks into a limousine surrounded by fans, remaining ever at arm’s length. For those who, like me, did not see The Girl of Your Dreams, keeping Macarena at a very deliberate distance creates a sense of mystery and suspense that lingers until she makes her way to the film’s action proper. Much in the way that 2015’s The Man From Uncle brought the audience up to speed (in terms of historical background) during the opening credits via snappily-edited newspaper clippings, the opening credits of The Queen of Spain primes us for the film’s engagement with artifice, juxtaposing voiceover narration, Macarena, and snippets of actual historical events leading up to the film’s setting in Francisco Franco’s fascist Spanish dictatorship...
You can read the rest of this review at Paste!