Francisco is a school teacher who doesn't appear too happy with how his life turned out. A kid at heart, Francisco feels shackled by his current situation wanting nothing more but to be free to do whatever he wants. On his 30th birthday, he falls ill with the measles, forcing him to get as much rest as possible. While he sleeps, he dreams of seven alter egos taking care of him in a country house. Miguel Gomes' The Face You Deserve is a surreal, free-flowing drama comedy that is a long-winded allegory about arrested development. This film falls well outside of standard narrative and genre conventions, making it a film that is sure to be very divisive. Some will find the film infuriating and boring while others will find it incredibly creative and unique. In the beginning, the film invests a lot of time introducing this sullen character, Francisco, capturing his child-like behavior that is deemed immature by adult standards. What's interesting is just when the audience is beginning to get attached to this tragic/comedic figure, the setting shifts, introducing us to the seven alter-egos of his dreams. What follows is a surreal and absurd story of seven friends, with Gomes drawing much inspiration from children's fairy tales/ fables like Snow White and The Ugly Ducking. For a debut feature, there is much to like about The Face You Deserve from its lavish set design to its incredibly playful tone. Gomes does a remarkable job at capturing the creative energy of children and it shows throughout the film. Unfortunately I did find The Face You Deserve to be overlong, given its subject matter, with tepid pacing that really seemed to hurt my overall satisfaction with the story. Arrested Development is a theme in films that really speaks to me and yet I never felt a strong connection on an emotional level. Miguel Gomes' The Face You Deserve is a unique experience and while it didn't resonant with me as much as it should have, there is no denying the talent Miguel Gomes displayed with this debut.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.