Synopsis by Mark Deming
An American abroad finds herself falling in with an eccentric group of fellow expatriates in Spain in this comedy. Cassandra (Judy Davis) is a nomadic American who finds herself stranded in Spain, where she's found temporary work translating books into English. However, Cassandra's limited translating skills are not bringing home the bacon, so when she encounters a strange woman named Frankie (Marcia Gay Harden), she's willing to help her find a missing friend for a price. Cassandra soon discovers Frankie isn't a strange woman after all -- she's a man living as a woman in preparation for a future sex change operation. It seems Frankie's significant other, a seriously butch lesbian named Ben (Lili Taylor), has walked out on her and taken their daughter Delilah (Courtney Jines) with her; Frankie wants Cassandra to help her find the two of them. As it turns out, Ben has moved on to new pastures, becoming involved with April (Juliette Lewis), a head-in-the-clouds bohemian, and with the help of wealthy art patron and part-time magician Hamilton Kincaid (Christopher Bowen), Ben, April, and Delilah are happily squatting in a spare wing at La Pedrera, Spain's best-known gallery. As Cassandra tries to persuade Ben to reconcile with Frankie, she gets fast-talked by Hamilton into performing as part of his magic act. Gaudi Afternoon was directed by Susan Seidelman; it was her first dramatic theatrical feature since Cookie in 1989, after spending over a decade making documentaries and television projects.
bohemian, cross-dressing, lesbianism, Spain, expatriate, missing-person, translator