I was there at the premiere of the film El Nido vacio - empty nest- yesterday at Village Cinema. It is a film about a couple, who find the house empty after their grown-up children leave home to be independent. The couple try to make sense of their togetherness trying to find a new meaning and bond to sustain the relationship. The man, Leonardo, who is a successful playwright, gets more introspective and gets into the usual midlife crisis. The hyperactive wife, Martha, restarts her life by resuming her university studies and having fun with social get-togethers. She also resumes shouting...to compensate for the days when she could not do so in the presence of children. Leonardo is uncomfortable among the friends of his wife and in social occasions. But his eyes follow the skirts and legs filling up his mind with fantasies. The fantasy at the clinic of a young female dentist takes the form of reality. He lets himself go after her. He is successful in getting her to reciprocate a bit and to take her to bed. But it is a one-shot affair. He feels guilty and does not proceed further.
The director and producer Daniel Burman has handled the theme very well. He has done it in an Argentine way making the story happen in the cafes. bars and restaurants through long but lively conversations. Fortunately, he has not made the film too heavy and complicated as the Argentine writers tend to do in the case of such themes. He has let the characters express their emotions and feelings in words, gestures and unspoken silences. He has let the story flow smoothly in a leisurely pace without any twists or complications.
Oscr Martinez has done justice to his role as Leonardo and so does Cecilia Roth as Martha in a realistic and credible manner.
For me, what the movie shows is what happens in the corner and sidewalk cafes of Buenos Aires every day. Couples and friends sit there for hours sipping cafe and talking..talking..and talking. It is part of the Porteno ( residents of the port city of Buenos Aires are called as portenos) culture.