Spanish cinema also has a prestige when it faces, through quality, a world of effort and tenacity. The film The Meadow of the Stars (2007) directed by Mario Camus, is a good example of the courage of a young man who faces the world of sports, specifically cycling, when he decides to participate in races.
The bicycle becomes here a metaphor of effort, it is impressive to see cyclists climb the peaks of Europe, for example. If there is a sport, where effort represents the maximum and courage can be seen, it is, without a doubt, cycling.
The story of the film takes place in Cantabria, where Alfonso lives (played by the great Álvaro de Luna), this is a humble country man, retired, who lost his parents as a child and was cared for by a woman, Nanda. She is now in a residence in San Vicente de la Barquera and Alfonso often visits her, grateful for everything she has done for him. One day a boy riding a bicycle appears in the village. He is Martín (Óscar Abad), brother of Luisa (Marián Aguilera), the nurse at the residence where Nanda is. Alfonso speaks to Luisa so that she can provide him with Martín's contact. When he already knows him and knowing his passion for the bicycle, he suggests that he take part in youth races so that he can become a professional.
With these wickers, Mario Camus shoots a beautiful film in a wonderful landscape, of mountains and green meadows, where the story of these two human beings, one almost old and the other so young, is linked to reach emotion and Importance of generational friendship.
The character of Martín, as I already mentioned, is played by Óscar Abad, at that time a youth cyclist. The young man from Corrales de Buelna was one of those chosen by the former Cantabrian cyclist and director José Antonio González Linares for the casting of the film and Mario Camus chose him for the film.
Óscar Abad would not become a professional, although he did compete in sub23 in several competitions. The boy is very good in the film, despite not being an actor, he gives his character freshness and authenticity and shows that nobility and courage is the most important thing to achieve the goals that one sets in life.
The most beautiful thing about this film are the scenes in which Mario Camus films the bicycle through the Cantabrian mountains, giving great importance to the sound, since we hear the screeching of the brakes, the movement of the chain and the gears, at the same time that the wake of the wind is heard as the platoon passes. All this universe has a metaphorical meaning, since the bicycle represents the effort, it is linked to the human being to overcome the inclement weather.
The importance of talent is essential in the film, in the dialogues between Alfonso and his friend Tasio (played by José Manuel Cervino), the latter a former cyclist. Both help Martín to face the world that surrounds him, they advise him, they are his teachers, but they do not limit his decisions, but ask him to be free and decide what is best for him. The performance of these two veteran actors gives the film authenticity, as both demonstrate their talent in their mature characters.
We must not forget the sweetness of Marián Aguilera, very natural as the nursing home nurse and Martin's sister. Without forgetting actors like Rodolfo Sancho and Antonio de la Torre who are great in their roles. As we all know, de la Torre would later begin a career full of talent and awards.
In Martín's room appears the photo of Óscar Freire with his rainbow jersey, because the references of great cyclists are also important for the young man. Óscar Freire is a former cyclist who has achieved great victories in road cycling.
The nature-human being symbiosis is important, because from the beginning of the film, nature is the protagonist and the moods of the main characters are reflected in the mountains of Cantabria. The film is a hymn to the beauty of a landscape that penetrates Martin, because he feels fulfilled when he pedals through those mountains, when he faces other cyclists in the race.
The end will not be lucky, since Martín has a serious accident when he pedals in the competition and manages to stand out from the pack. The accident comes when he collides with a television motorcycle, which highlights the danger of getting too close to the cyclists in the race, both from the public and from journalists.
We are left with the beauty of that landscape, of the pedaling scenes, the friendship between Alfonso and Martín. It is a beautiful film that tells us about courage, talent and affection. The camera of Mario Camus (a great director who we will always remember for his depth in The Holy Innocents), films beings of great nobility in a landscape that is also the protagonist of this story full of light in a landscape of mountains. As the title of the film says, it is a meadow where we can see the stars, those of the sky and those of human beings who always struggle to improve themselves.

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