Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Thematically, Javier Rebollo's Lola joins such classics as Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing (1980) and Patrice Leconte's Monsieur Hire (1989) in its acute psychological exploration of one man's obsession with a local woman, and couples this with an extended meditation on loneliness. Michael Abiteboul is Leon, a fortysomething loser who lives with his bedbound, rapidly-deteriorating mother (Lucienne Deschamps) in a constantly overcast Parisian suburb. The depressed and taciturn Leon and his mother occasionally speculate on the neighbors whose life stories are projected audibly through the razor-thin walls, but Leon otherwise lives in a state of silence, depression, and inertia. Eventually, his mother dies, but he klutzily spills her ashes all over the apartment floor. The first glimmer of hope in his life arrives in the form of Lola (Lola Dueñas), a comely Spanish neighbor who stops by the apartment to ask for some ice; Leon instantly recognizes her as an actress on a local porno channel. Days later, Lola catches Leon's eye again, in a local bar, and he takes increasing, then obsessive interest in her goings-on, rifling through her mail and tracking her involvement with various men. When she passes out, drunk, Leon carts her home; he also starts leaving money on the ground for her to find. After she becomes involved in a seriously dysfunctional relationship with a cabbie, who knocks her up and abandons her, she high-tails it back to Spain -- little realizing that Leon isn't far behind.