|For her latest feature film, Spanish queer filmmaker RUTH CAUDELI continues with her fixation with ‘navel-gazing’ which was the topic of her sophomore movie SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT. |
Leading Ladies, filmed in Colombia, is the tale of five young women who have gathered together for a celebratory dinner for one of their number who has been away for the past two months. They have no idea why Marce (MARCELA ROBLEDO) disappeared suddenly without warning and it soon appears that they will not necessarily believe or accept her explanation anyway.Caudeli films the dinner party that ensues from each of the participant’s perspectives, and each time the ‘story’ starts all over again, we learn more of the unspoken currents going on. Each of the women has their share of secrets and regrets too which they are very reluctant to expose.
Being truthful is a major issue here, and where some of the lies are new, others have been held for some years. It spreads confusion even over matters that concern each of the women’s sexualities.Very impressively, Caudeli puts great trust in her actresses as she films them without a script. It’s a gamble the pays off as it gives such authenticity to how finely tuned friendships really are as they balance to survive or just falter. Who is actually honest with each other or themselves is not at all clear, but then it seems not to be too relevant in the telling of the stories.
What makes the film really work, is that all of us can personally connect with at least one of these characters on what we want to share with our friends. And maybe even more than one of them.