Amanda Porter suggested The Devil's Backbone, which I chose for my Day 20 review.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, The Devil's Backbone is a gorgeous film set in 1939, just after the Spanish Civil War. It follows the story of a young boy, Carlos, who became an orphan after his father was killed in the war. Dumped by his tutor at an orphanage, he struggles to adjust to his new life in the face of strangers and bullies.
In the second act, he befriends the bully, and the two of them band together with the other boys to unravel the dark secrets in this haunted orphanage. The cinematography is beautiful, bringing the viewer deep into the Spanish countryside. The story is rich with characters, conflicts, and poignant moments.
Guillermo del Toro is a genius director. The Devil's Backbone is a remarkable feat, encompassing a ghost story, political commentary, and a coming-of-age tale in one package. Couple that with the striking visuals and captivating scenery, it's no wonder this is a favorite.
Thanks for pushing me along to watch this film, Amanda. I've been meaning to do so for a while, and now that I've seen it, I plan to buy the Criterion version soon. I give this one 7 bits out of 8.