I was vaguely interested when I heard about Finding Altamira, the 2016 film about the discovery of the prehistoric art in the Altamira caves in Spain starring Antonio Banderas, but then got distracted. I finally fired it up and found it not perfect but enjoyable! This film tells a fictionalized version of a real life story: “In 1879, amateur archaeologist Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola was led by his eight-year-old daughter María to discover the cave’s drawings,” per Wikipedia.
Overall, I enjoyed the film. Critically:
Antonio Banderas: STILL HOT.
Golshifteh Farahani (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Exodus: Gods and Kings) is stunning as Conchita, Marcelino’s wife.
Some of the sub-plots were a little heavy handed, particularly Rupert Everett as the disapproving local priest:
We’ll come back to that excellent parasol.
The costumes were designed by Consolata Boyle (Radioactive, Victoria & Abdul, Chéri), and she knows her stuff! I did spend the whole film thinking I had read it was set in 1866, so then was grumbling at the (beautiful) natural form dresses — only to recheck and yep, it’s 1879. Duh!
I’m (of course) going to focus on Conchita’s costumes, since they’re the most interesting.
Things start off in bucolic family land. Conchita wears this white embroidered blouse with separate skirt.
I don’t buy that she wouldn’t be wearing some kind of chemisette underneath, but it’s pretty and she’s supposed to be relaxed at home.
This embroidered gown was GORGEOUS.
More of it! Or maybe it’s not embroidered, but made of a paisley shawl?
I thought the stark white with the pop of red looked so great with Farahani’s coloring.
I’m always down for black & white!
Posing with the King of Spain. Daughter Maria (center) was super cute.
Another dress made from a shawl?
This was pretty for a casual ensemble, even if I scoffed at the hair.
LOVED this cream & black ensemble (THE HAT). Sadly you don’t see enough of it!
The best I could do for full length.
Here you can see the lines of the natural form period, in between the two bustle eras, when skirts were still pulled to the back but there’s no actual bustle.
A bit more, including the bonnet.
This outfit confused me in terms of the event she wears it for, but it was gorgeous!
A blouse and skirt combo.
Here’s a bit more of that parasol. I loved the fabric in the skirt. The bodice fitting isn’t 100%, but I ascribed that to the fact that this is a well-off but not rich woman living in a small town. Am I being too generous?
With the town’s disapproving biddies.
There’s a coda in the 1900s, and I didn’t think they distinguished the style changes enough.
Of course, Banderas was dapper.
And Pierre Niney as an artist who helps capture the paintings was SO cute! © Samuel Goldwyn Films
Have you seen Finding Altamira? What did you think?