A Silent Love

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


This sensitive, gently humorous drama infuses a familiar interpersonal geometry—the love triangle—with a surprising dynamic and, along the way, subverts stereotypes of mail-order brides, cross-cultural communication, and male desire.

Norman, a quiet, middle-aged Montreal professor, decides to marry a young Mexican woman he meets through an Internet matchmaking service. But this arrangement bears little resemblance to colonialist wife-buying. His bride, Gladys, couldn't be less obsequious or servile. She's a headstrong woman more interested in true love and companionship than a Canadian passport. Norman, too, wants to forge a substantive relationship, and he's so eager to please that he invites Gladys's mother for an extended visit. Against the cacophony of languages and ethnicity in cosmopolitan Montreal, introverted, easy-going Norman and restless, forceful Gladys try to connect, but generational differences and competing desires get in the way.

In his first feature, Federico Hidalgo skillfully maximizes the comedic tension in scenes where Gladys and her mother's rapid-fire loquacity and peppery vitality literally squelch their understated host. Hidalgo and cowriter Paulina Robles bring extraordinary perceptiveness to lonely characters faced with emotions beyond their control. Vanessa Bauche, best known for her starring role in Amores Perros, inflates Gladys with both power and vulnerability as an immigrant struggling to define happiness.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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