Mondays in the Sun (Los Lunes al sol) (2003)



Critic Consensus: Javier Bardem gives an outstanding performance in this hought-provoking (though occasionally plodding) movie about the effects of unemployment on a group of former shipyard workers.

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Movie Info

In a northern coastal city of Spain, which turned its back on the countryside long ago and surrounded itself with industries, a group of men make their way through the streets everyday, looking for life's emergency exits. Walking the tightrope of precarious employment, taking shelter in their daily conversations and routine--as if the dismal wreck of their lives was not their own. While they talk of their exploits and laugh, at everything and nothing in particular, they try to remain full of hope, relaxed, on a Monday morning in the sun.
R (for language)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Luis Tosar
as José
Celso Bugallo
as Amador
Aida Folch
as Nata
Pepo Oliva
as Samuel
Andrés Lima
as Lawyer
Cesar Cambeira
as Prosecutor
Luis Castro
as Shipyard Employment Officer
Maria Luisa Martinez
as Employment Office Clerk
Casilda Garcia
as Boarding House Owner
Luisa Merelas
as Lino's Wife
Pablo de la Fuente
as Lino's Son
Belén López
as Lino's Daughter
Denis Gomez
as Boy on Ferry
Miguel Barines
as Canning Factory Manager
Gracia Mestre
as Woman in Supermarket
Lois Seaxe
as Ana's Workmate
Isabel Cervino
as Court Secretary
Pablo Vázquez
as Child in House
as Bizco
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Critic Reviews for Mondays in the Sun (Los Lunes al sol)

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (23)

In these days of cutbacks and belt-tightening, its story has a strong resonance.

September 20, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A small, intimate film that moves viewers with its passion.

Full Review… | September 11, 2003
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Midway, Mondays in the Sun becomes as dull as a day with nothing to do.

Full Review… | September 5, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The best thing that can be said about this funny, poignant and compassionate film is that watching it is not work.

Full Review… | August 22, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Thoughtful and well-acted, but a little flat in the story department.

August 22, 2003
Seattle Times
Top Critic

To the patient viewer, the rewards are many, especially Bardem's performance.

August 15, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mondays in the Sun (Los Lunes al sol)

Los Lunes al Sol (Fernando Leon de Aranoa, 2002) I don't remember who it was that told me, or where I read, nine or ten years ago, that Los Lunes al Sol (in English, Mondays in the Sun) is a comedy. I want to find that person and hit him in the teeth. Not only is this movie not a comedy, it is one of the most relentlessly depressing movies I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through. Which is not to say it is not a good film; it is quite a good film indeed. I believe, however, the depression factor is ultimately to the film's detriment; it struck me while watching that this is a film that requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate, and I cannot for the life of me imagine a time where I would have a strong desire to watch it again, despite its merits. Plot: There isn't one, really, to this slice-of-life drama: six friends, longtime stevedores, lost their jobs at the dockyard three years ago. Of them, only Rico (Balade Triste de Trompeta's Joaquín Climent) has managed to make something of himselfâ"he took his savings and opened a bar across from the now-shuttered dockyeard, where the other five members of the group drink for free. There's Santa (Before Night Falls' Javier Bardem), a foulmouthed cynic and the unofficial leader of the group, always looking for under-the-table cash that doesn't require him to do any real work, while trying to keep out of the way of his old employer, who are suing him for breaking a light. Lino (Abre los Ojos' Josà (C) Ã?ngel Egido), the eternal optimist, is always on his way to an interview or a rumored opening to fill out an application. Josà (C) (Tambien la Lluvia's Luis Tosar) is currently being supported by his wife, Ana (El Bola's Nieve de Medina), who's been working in a tuna canning factory, but the longer she supports him, the angrier he gets at himself and his situation. Reina (El Crimen Perfecto's Enrique Villà (C)n) has picked up a temp job as a security guard, but he's stifled by the unfulfilling nature of the job. Last, but by no means least, is Amador (Mar Adentro's Celso Bugallo), whose wife left him soon after he lost his job, and who spends his days lost in a fantasy world where she's on her way back to him. De Aranoa and co-screenwriter Ignacio del Moral put these guys in the situation, then pretty much sit back and let things unfold as they will. I don't think it's a spoiler to say this will not end well, especially now, ten years later, and especially not in America. Reviews of the movie posted back in the day on IMDB often end with an imprecation along the lines of â...and the viewer will end up hoping he never has to live through this.â? Fast-forward to 2012, and in the cases of some folks I know, three years out of work is something they saw in the rear view mirror back in 2011. I'm not sure why I put off watching this movie until now (I'm a huge Javier Bardem fan and will watch him in anything), but I'm not sure, having now seen it, whether it would have had the impact on me it did had I watched it when it first came out. Now, I know these people. In fact, some of them are my closest friends; all of us have, at some point in the past decade, been out of work for at least a year (yours truly included). It's funny how the universe works like that. And with the benfit of that hindsight, I will tell you that these screenwriters and these actors have done their damnedest to come up with the gritty ugliness of the situation and present it in as realistic a way as possible. The problem being, of course, that ârealisticâ? brings us back to where we are at the beginning of this paragraphâ"knowing that things will not end well. Be that as it may, and with the warning from the first paragraph in mind that this movie may require multiple viewings to get to the bottom of and I can't imagine anyone with a shred of empathy having the fortitude to watch it more than once, it's still well worth that one watch. Especially if you can identify with the situation, even indirectly. ***

Robert Beveridge
Robert Beveridge

Undeniably slow-going, but its tough-shit motto is both haunting and darkly wry. "Mondays in the Sun" plays bummed-out with a grin. It fits it nicely.

Nick Ondras
Nick Ondras

This is a story of jaded dreams, and everlasting tomorrows. The film Los Lunes al Sol is brought together with acting mastery and a tale too timeless to forget. The main character Santa and his friends have lost their jobs at the shipyard. Unfortunately for the people of Vigo, South Korea’s cost-effective ships tore away at Spain’s ability to compete with trading nations at the peak of Globalization. This movie is a brilliant illustration of how to deal with what’s lost. For them, unemployment is simply a means to an end; A way of going through life, even when the road seems different than before. Pride and dignity is immovable and steadfast with the people at the shipyard, however they know it is their way of life to be – forever changed by the effects of a dog eat dog system.

Victor Moreno
Victor Moreno

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