Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Fernando Trueba|
|Produced by||Andrés Vicente Gómez|
|Written by||Rafael Azcona|
José Luis García Sánchez
Fernando Fernán Gómez
Miriam Díaz Aroca
|Music by||Antoine Duhamel|
|Cinematography||José Luis Alcaine|
|Edited by||Carmen Frías|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Box office||$5.4 million (United States)|
Belle Époque is a 1992 Spanish comedy-drama film directed by Fernando Trueba. The title does not derive from the period in French history known as the Belle Époque ("The Beautiful Era") but from the days before the Spanish Civil War. Belle Époque received the Goya Award for Best Film along with eight other Goya Awards and was named Best Foreign Language Film at the 66th Academy Awards.
The year is 1931. Spain is politically divided between Republicans and Traditionalists and on the verge of the Spanish Second Republic. Fernando, a young soldier, deserts. He befriends Manolo (Fernando Fernán Gómez), a man with a large house in the country. Fernando meets and is enchanted by Manolo's four daughters. As he meets each of the first three one by one, he falls in love and has sex with each of them, determining to marry. With each one, however, a complication arises: Clara (Miriam Díaz-Aroca), a widow who only recently lost her husband and who seeks solace with Fernando; Violeta (Ariadna Gil), a lesbian who is attracted to Fernando only when he is dressed as a woman for a costume ball and Rocío (Maribel Verdú), a social climber who is about to marry into a royalist family for the security it would provide and who only momentarily succumbs to Fernando's charms. Heartbroken each time, the father of the girls encourages Fernando to have patience. Each of the daughters is beautiful and represents a different aspect of feminine sexuality. The youngest of the family, Luz (Penélope Cruz), represents naïveté. While Fernando is pursuing her sisters, Luz gets progressively angry and jealous. Eventually Fernando realizes, however, that Luz is the best one of the four to marry.
Belle Époque received positive reviews getting a 93% on rottentomatoes.com. The film is mentioned in the 2010 American film The Fighter.