Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Director: Antonio Hernández
Producer: José Nolla, Antonia Saura
Screenwriter: Enrique Brasó, Antonio Hernández
The city in question is Paris, where Max, the family patriarch and owner of a large pharmaceutical company, has traveled from Madrid seeking treatment for a tumor that has left him slightly demented and close to death. By his side is his wife Marie (the formidable Geraldine Chaplin, as thin and cold as an icicle), who clearly has something dark on her mind. She's joined by her three sons, Luis (Roberto Alvarez), Alberto (Alex Casanovas), and the youngest, Victor (Leonardo Sbaraglia), who flies in from Argentina with his girlfriend (Leticia Bredice) for what may be Max's death watch.
But Max isn't going quietly. He rants about being a prisoner, about people plotting against him, about unfinished business. Most mysteriously, he keeps referring to someone named "Rancel," and begs Victor to help him escape from the hospital so the two can go look for this mystery man. But who is Rancel, and why does the mention of his name make Marie freeze up even more than usual? Is Max simply out of his mind? Victor is inclined to believe him and is curious to get to the bottom of the mystery, but the rest of the family just thinks Max is nuts and chooses instead to spend a lot of time in the corridor whispering about the future of the family business and hoping all the proper papers have been signed. Marie for one seems positively eager for the old guy to kick the bucket.
While Victor and Max hatch schemes to look for Rancel, the rest of the family deals with other turmoil. Luis is tormented by his fiery ex-wife Pilar (a scene-stealing Adriana Ozores), who freaks out when Luis's new wife, their former nanny, shows up on the scene and makes love to him in the hotel room adjoining hers. Alberto has a girlfriend, but it turns out that she and Victor have had a long-time fling behind his back, and she wants resolution. The family races around Paris from restaurant to disco to hospital hurling recriminations and trying to find some way to untangle this huge mess.
Victor's search for Rancel eventually takes him to Madrid, and he brings some shocking discoveries back to Paris, discoveries that will change the family dynamic forever. The City of No Limits is full of secrets and lies (to quote a fitting movie title), and each family member's reaction to the tumultuous events around Max's sickness reveals a different kind of generational, political, or moral dilemma. You'll walk away from this movie having once again learned the lesson that it's always better to tell the truth because it'll come out eventually anyway.
Aka En la ciudad sin límites.