It's like an elegant bracelet that's modest enough to go unnoticed, but nevertheless reveals a quietly exquisite beauty.
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Three generations of a European family come together in the fabled town of Sintra, Portugal, for one last vacation before the family matriarch faces the next, and last, chapter of her life. Over the course of one crisp October day, the fairy tale setting brings about everyone's most romantic impulses, revealing both cracks between them, as well as unexpected depth of feeling.
A successful actress used to getting her way, Francoise "Frankie" Cremont has a secret plan: she wants to marry off Paul, her perpetually single son, to Ilene, an American hairstylist she befriended on a film shoot in New York. As Frankie tries to manipulate her son's future, her adoring Irish husband Jimmy is forced to confront his own feelings of imminent loss. Meanwhile, Jimmy's daughter Sylvia faces the potential dissolution of her own marriage to the remote, but financially successful, Ian. And as the adults play out their intricate plots and machinations, Sylvia and Ian's teenage daughter Maya spends the afternoon with a group of local boys by the sea, discovering the joys and surprises of first love. Watching from the sidelines is Frankie's ex-husband, and Paul's father, Michel, who, accompanied by João-Miguel, a handsome Portuguese tour guide, observes all with a wry and seasoned understanding. When Frankie's plans are thwarted by the arrival of Ilene's boyfriend, Gary, she is forced to come to terms with the mysteries of life, death, and our all too human limitations. From one morning to late afternoon, each of the nine members of the extended clan will be transformed by both the dramas of the family, and the magic and beauty of this mythical place.
Shifting from the New York settings of 'Keep the Lights On,' 'Love Is Strange' and 'Little Men' to one of the most beautiful corners of Europe, director Ira Sachs offers many gentle pleasures in his latest film, 'Frankie,' not least of them the gorgeous locations in the verdant Portuguese mountain ...