Review of Ramona (dir Andrea Bagney)

You are currently viewing Review of <em>Ramona </em>(dir Andrea Bagney)

by Rachel Brooks (She/Her)

Artwork by Mary Martin (She/Her)

This review is a part of our Glasgow Film Festival review series. The Film Festival is running between 01/03/23-12/03/23, don’t miss out and go and see some incredible new films.

Ramona opens with a montage of the eponymous character’s typical life in Madrid. Snapshots of Ramona going about her day, working as a nanny, visiting the supermarket, reading in a café, and looking for grey hairs in her reflection.

Her daily life is interrupted by the film’s plot, the well-known story of boy meets girl. In the opening scene, Ramona is relaxing in a bar, preparing for an audition the following day. She strikes up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to her, who turns out to be Bruno, the director she is to audition for. After their tête-à-tête,  Ramona returns home to her boyfriend. She finds herself now torn between two lives, it is these two versions of herself which the film documents intimately. 

Ramona is director Andrea Bagney’s debut (Spanish-language) feature film. Bagney’s influences are detectable in almost every shot; she draws on a wide range of cinema. Nods are made to Ingmar Bergman, Billy Wilder, Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha), Woody Allen (Manhattan and Annie Hall), Richard Linklater (Before Trilogy), and the directors of the French New Wave. Just like one of the most dynamic films of the French New Wave, Jules et Jim directed by François Truffaut, Ramona’s conflict spotlights a love triangle with the protagonist at its heart. 

It is dramatic. It is romantic. 

Lourdes Hernández (known professionally as Russian Red) charms in the central role as Ramona, an aspiring actress caught between the director Bruno (Bruno Lastra) and her boyfriend Nico (Francesco Carril). Bagney opts primarily for black and white, aside from when Ramona is viewed through a diegetic camera, allowing for an intermingling of her personal and professional lives. In auditions, she is surrounded by colour as she performs dialogues from Annie Hall and Before Sunset. Ramona is an on screen love letter to the cinema Bagney adores. It also looks at the relationship between actor and director: the intensity of this relationship, the emotions involved and the intermingling of art and life.

Ramona is premiering at the Glasgow Film Festival this month. You can catch it on the big screen at GFT on the 7th and 8th of March. Whether you are familiar or unfamiliar with Bagney’s influences, there is an inimitable charm to her script and storytelling that makes Ramona well worth a watch. 


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