There’s a new wing at the mental hospital, one that few people know about. Netflix subscribers who were looking for a carefree, Jim Ferguson-approved romantic comedy available on Instant Watch instead stumbled upon a title with an uncompromising look at sex. No Amy Adams, just golden showers and sadomasochism. No cure has been discovered for these now-comatose victims, visitation is prohibited, and Netflix has been required to differentiate the two movies in question by forcing Michael Rowe’s “Leap Year” to include its Spanish title, Año Bisiesto, nestled in parentheses immediately following its English name.
Of course, there were people that actually wanted to watch this thing… and they’re doing just fine. Recipient of the Camera d’or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, “Leap Year” centers on a lonely journalist and her intense (not to mention increasingly violent and vile) sexual relationship with a man. It’s quite a perturbing experience to say the least, but one that’s truly effective in examining how the environment can warp the psyche of a seemingly regular woman. Fans will be happy to know that the director is now heading into his sophomore picture, “Napa,” a project that apparently won’t be small potatoes.
Variety reports that BFFs Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna will be producing the film through their indie company Canana along with some help from Pablo Cruz (producer of “Miss Bala” and upcoming Pablo Larrain film “No” starring Bernal), with lensing expected to commence in mid-June. Based on an unspecified short story by author Tim Winton, the film details the life of a child (played by newcomer Maria Fernanda Sasse) in the causatum of a divorce. Details are slim but the filmmaker mentions that it, along with ‘Leap,’ are both part of a “Trilogy of Solitude.” Given the simple logline and short-form source material (not to mention its relation to his first film), it’s likely “Napa” will follow in the same slow, minimalistic style that ‘Leap’ flourished in.
If Rowe can make anything half as stirring as his debut we’d be happy. Throw this one on your radars, people.