Synopsis by Elbert Ventura
Set in the Spanish port city of Vigo, Fernando León de Aranoa's Mondays in the Sun is a touching drama about a group of working-class men who find themselves suddenly unemployed and unwanted in their middle age. Laid off from the local shipyard, the men spend their days at the town bar, where they reminisce, philosophize, and commiserate about their current state. Gruff Santa (a bearded Javier Bardem) puts up a tough front, refusing to sink into self-pity, and occasionally pricking his friends' hopes. Morose José (Luis Tosar) openly worries about his wife, whom he fears might leave him. That seems to have been the fate of Amador (Celso Bugallo), the oldest of the bunch, who keeps reassuring everyone that his wife will be back any day now from her trip. Meanwhile, Lino (José Ángel Egido) refuses to give up hope of employment, going to interview after interview for jobs being offered to applicants half his age. Presiding over the glum bunch is Rico (Joaquín Climent), the bar owner and the men's co-worker from the shipyard days. Despite its depressing subject and downbeat mood, Mondays in the Sun was a big winner at the 2003 Goya Awards, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars, winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Bardem. The film was also Spain's surprise representative for the 2003 Oscars' Foreign Language film category, nabbing the distinction over Pedro Almodóvar's critically lauded Talk to Her.
blue-collar, dockworker, factory-worker, job-market, social-classes, unemployment, worker's-rights