It is clear that Uncertain Glory (in Catalan, Incerta Glòria) is very close to Black Bread (Catalan: Pa negre) a film for which Villaronga won, among others, the Goya –the Spanish BAFTA) for Best Director and Best Film in 2011. Pa negre, based on Emili Teixidor's novel, was set in the first years of the post Spanish Civil war while the action of Incerta Gloria, based on Joan Sales' book published in 1956, is set in 1937 in the strategic Aragon Front, which Franco held to make the war last longer.
The war, however has a secondary role despite setting the story in full civil strife. The conflict, the bombings in Barcelona and the Aragonese zone, the trenches and the rivalry between sides become only as an union point.
Thus, the true war in the film is personal and passionate, with the subject that travels all the work of Villaronga: the idea that the human being can be a monster.
This Majorcan filmmaker is not interested in romanticism and religion and adores the pure and harsh survival of the rural world that represents Carlana, a hypnotic character who, from her castle and with hatred and rejection, makes up and decides. For the role of this fascinating woman-spider, the director has hired Núria Prims, who after a few years of inactivity (on the big screen since 2010 with Madre e hija and on television since 2009, her last character was Dra. Leyre in Hospital Central) marks one of the cinematographic returns of the season being able to be the actress of the year. There is no doubt that Oriol Pla has decided –and will be– to be one of the most relevant faces of Spanish cinema in the coming years. Pla and Prims share one of the harshest and most daring scenes to remember where they show us the bravery of their characters and their talented performances.
The two of them join young Marcel Borràs (Lluís) and Bruna Cusí, who teach us the consequences of the ruthless war alongside Terele Pávez, Fernando Esteso, Luisa Gavasa and Juan Diego, who, although having little roles, they do an amazing job.
Among the most debatable aspects of the film, a certain precipitation is also indicated in the second part marked by the arrival of Lluís's wife, where events happen quickly.
However, Incerta Gloria is more than a worthy melodrama that shows that no war is honorable.
Uncertain Glory, available on Netflix, submerges the viewer in a history of crossed and regrets, wild instincts and incurable punishments.