Everybody Knows

Everybody Knows

2019, R, 132 min. Directed by Asghar Farhadi. Starring Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín, Eduard Fernández, Bárbara Lennie, Carla Campra, Inma Cuesta, Roger Casamajor.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Feb. 22, 2019

As Everybody Knows opens, wedding preparations are underway in a small Spanish village. Laura (Cruz) arrives with her two children, and suddenly what had been a sunny and joyful scene grows more radiant and buoyant with her presence. It’s a return to the home she left years ago for Argentina and her husband (Darín), who is unable to attend (for reasons we will later discover). The first half of the film is a charming swirl of introductions and reconnections, gaiety and drink. A multitude of family members and other characters dash in and out as we try to keep track of who everyone is and how they are connected. We feel very much a part of the commotion.

About an hour in, however, the film changes course and the celebration gives way to a kidnapping plot. Laura’s flirtatious teenage daughter Irene (Campra) disappears from her bedroom and it’s clear she has been snatched. For help recovering her daughter, Laura turns to Paco (Bardem), her former lover who has also married someone else. Paco and his wife (Lennie) own a vineyard, which resides on land sold to him by Laura’s family. Many are the kidnapping suspects and reasons for the abduction, primarily the presumed wealth of Laura’s husband and the ransom he might afford. Things from the past continually bubble to the surface. And what everybody knows isn’t always the truth.

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (winner of two Best Foreign Language Film Oscars for The Salesman and A Separation) revels in telling stories marked by moral quandaries and social pressures. These forces in Everybody Knows, however, seem more manufactured than essential. This is not the first time Farhadi has worked outside Iran, so the cultural difference isn’t sufficient to explain the lower-seeming stakes in this film. As much as Farhadi tries to imbue the story with gravitas and conundrums, the film is really a basic whodunit. Nevertheless, it’s as fulsome a pleasure to watch Penélope Cruz bite her lip and cry buckets over her daughter’s fate as it is to watch her smile widely and bewitch all comers with the mere twinkle in her eyes. Everybody Knows is not Farhadi’s best work, but he does deliver an affair to remember.


Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills

9828 Great Hills Trail, 512/231-9742

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS, sub-titled, sub-titles 12:20, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS, sub-titled, sub-titles 2:50, 6:30
CC/DVS, sub-titles 2:50, 6:30

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS, sub-titled, sub-titles 2:50, 6:30
CC/DVS, sub-titles 2:50, 6:30

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS, sub-titled, sub-titles 2:50, 6:30
CC/DVS, sub-titles 2:50, 6:30

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS, sub-titled, sub-titles 2:50
CC/DVS, sub-titles 2:50

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS, sub-titled, sub-titles 2:50
CC/DVS, sub-titles 2:50

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS, sub-titled, sub-titles 2:50
CC/DVS, sub-titles 2:50

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Thu., March 21

digital 11:25am

Violet Crown Cinema

434 W. Second, 512/495-9600, www.violetcrowncinema.com

Four-hour parking validation in attached garage with ticket purchase. Reserved seating; bar and cafe on-site.

Thu., March 21

11:00am, 1:45, 8:40

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Asghar Farhadi
Gary Hart Biopic <i>The Front Runner</i> to Close Austin Film Festival
AFF Announces Second Wave
New films by Yorgos Lanthimos, Asghar Farhadi added to fest

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 12, 2018

More Asghar Farhadi Films
The Salesman
Gripping drama from the director of A Separation

Kimberley Jones, Feb. 3, 2017

The Past
Another masterstroke from Asghar Farhadi, The Past begins as a domestic drama and stealthily evolves into a kind of thriller.

Kimberley Jones, Jan. 31, 2014

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Ash Is Purest White
The emotional cost of a life of crime across two decades in Northern China

March 22, 2019

The Wedding Guest
A simmering thriller of international abduction and pursuit

March 22, 2019


Everybody Knows, Asghar Farhadi, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín, Eduard Fernández, Bárbara Lennie, Carla Campra, Inma Cuesta, Roger Casamajor

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle