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The Orphanage (2007)

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“El orfanato”

Drama, Fantasy, Horror |

The Orphanage is a Spanish supernatural horror film and the debut feature of Spanish filmmaker J. A. Bayona. The film stars Belén Rueda as Laura, Fernando Cayo as her husband, Carlos, and Roger Príncep as their adopted son Simón. The plot centers on Laura, who returns to her childhood home, an orphanage. Laura plans to turn the house into a home for disabled children, but after an argument with Laura, Simón goes missing.

The film’s script was written by Sergio G. Sánchez in 1996 and brought to the attention of Bayona in 2004. Bayona asked his long-time friend, director Guillermo del Toro, to help produce the film and to double its budget and filming time. Bayona wanted the film to capture the feel of 1970s Spanish cinema; he cast Geraldine Chaplin and Belén Rueda, who were later praised for their roles in the film.

In 1975 Spain, a young girl named Laura is adopted. 30 years later, adult Laura returns to the closed orphanage, accompanied by her husband, Carlos, and their seven-year-old son, Simón. She plans to reopen the orphanage as a facility for disabled children. Simón claims to have befriended a boy named Tomás, and draws pictures of him as a child wearing a sack mask. Social worker Benigna Escobedo visits the house to inquire after Simón, and the audience learn that Laura and Carlos adopted Simón and that he is HIV positive. Incensed at Benigna’s intrusion, Laura asks her to leave. Later that night, Laura finds Benigna in the orphanage’s coal shed, but Benigna flees the scene. Later, Simón teaches Laura a game which grants its winner a wish. Clues lead the two to Simón’s adoption file. Simón becomes angry, and says that his new friend told him that Laura is not his biological mother and that he is going to die soon.

Director: J.A. Bayona

Writer: Sergio G. Sánchez (screenplay)

Stars: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Príncep, Mabel Rivera, Montserrat Carulla, Andrés Gertrúdix, Edgar Vivar

Cast:

Belén RuedaLaura
Fernando CayoCarlos
Roger PríncepSimón
Mabel RiveraPilar
Montserrat CarullaBenigna
Andrés GertrúdixEnrique
Edgar VivarProf. Leo Bálaban
Óscar CasasTomás
Mireia RenauLaura niña
Georgina AvellanedaRita
Carla GordilloMartín
Alejandro CampsVíctor
Carmen LópezAlicia
Óscar LaraGuillermo
Geraldine ChaplinAurora
Enric ArquimbauJefe Grupo Terapia
Blanca MartínezMujer Grupo Terapia
Carol SuárezBenigna joven
Isabel FrieraAntonia cuidadora
Fernando MarrotDoctor (as Fernando Marriot)
Jordi CardusNiño ciego (as Jordi Cardús)
Pedro MoralesPadre 2

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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