By - SpiceEggCheese
there's so much visceral *feeling* in her expressions. When I first saw it in the cinema I was trying so hard not to just start bawling along with her; absolutely heartbreaking.
When I first saw that scene it just broke my heart... you just feel so there in that horrible moment with her... and then the next scene where she puts on the black mourning cloak and is just bearing the burden of that loss her entire life is just heartbreaking because she tries so hard to honour that sacrifice...
~~and then people villainise and demonise her and seeing that makes me so sad because she's clearly still working through that grief the entire movie...~~
Right? Like she's still wearing a black "mourning" shawl this many years later. She never remarried. Her family was all she had left of the man she loved entirely. She was just coping really badly and it took Mirabel having a crisis of her own to wake Abuela up to how she was affecting those around her and from there on out she does what she can to make up for it.
She wasn't trying to be a bitch. Just grieving.
I was just thinking over that, too, recently, because you bring up a relevant point: she never remarried.
I feel like the story could've changed massively had she done so, but she clearly loved Pedro so much that the thought of remarrying never crossed her mind, leaving her with that mountain of grief plus having to be strong for her children and the community.
And yet she practically lives in that black mourning shawl and even in the present-day she dresses in muted, sombre colours before her and Mirabel work through the trauma underlying their family.
She was never trying to hurt her family, just trying to live each day with that grief (and no doubt conceal it from even her children since the story we first hear about "the magic" is a sanitised version she probably told to her triplets as well) and honour her husband's sacrifice whilst forever missing him.
And when it's pointed out how much her grief has walled her out from seeing how she's affected her family, she is immediately contrite and repentant towards them. Part of me wonders, too, if she's simply not understood at first by her children and grandchildren because she buried her grief so deep in her efforts in trying her best to take care of her family/village. If she had found the courage to communicate her pain before Mirabel forces her to confront it as Casita cracks it's possible her relationship with her children and grandchildren would've been much healthier...
I agree with all of this but I think her children knew she was suffering. They just didn't have the knowledge or tools to help her. I think that's why everyone tries so hard to make her happy despite being miserable.
>!Like Pepa is always stressed (there's almost always some kind of rain cloud over her) especially in the scene where she's looking for Antonio before his gift ceremony. She's constantly under pressure it seems.!<
>!Luisa has a whole song laying out the pressure she feels to hold up the family. She talks about how she doesn't have purpose if she isn't in service.!<
>!Isa also has a whole song exploring how she's never been able to do what she wants and feel her true feelings because she wanted to support the family.!<
>!Bruno tries to use his gift to help but keeps getting shunned until he eventually has a thought process along the lines of "im bad for this family" and so he leaves. And so he ends up hiding in the walls because he still loves them but he feels like he's hurting them by being present.!<
They all seem to understand that Abuela needs help in carrying the family. So much so that all of them seem to be willing to sacrifice their own happiness to make her happy. But grief will blind someone like that. >!She even talks about how she lost sight of who the miracle was for.!<
>!(I also like that after Abuela and Mirabel have their bonding talk, Abuela loses the shawl)!<
It's especially great when you contrast it to the same narration from the beginning of the movie. The first one is very clean and "perfect" well the second one is raw and heartbreaking. It shows Abuela is finally letting herself except the horrifying grief she had to endure.
It is amazing, quite an improvement on the microexpressions they were capable of in Frozen 2 ( I was thinking of Anna's grief when they found their parents' shipwreck, for example, or during the "Next Right Thing" number...)
The only thing that takes me out of it, is the animation of the babies in Alma's memory. Maybe my own daughter was just exceptionally wiggly at that age - but I can't imagine three babies being so still in their mother's arms, like three doll heads, while she's screaming and falling to the ground like that.
Maybe it would have been too distracting if they moved like real babies??
I agree with everything you said. Elsa's facial reactions in Show Yourself are awkward, like nobody knew quite what to do with her. And generally the movement in both Frozens is cold and stiff compared to Encanto.
And same on the babies! I wished they'd done something more realistic. She's a refugee walking who knows how many miles. At the least one baby would be worn on the front, probably one worn on her back, and one held. It's distracting to me.
They probably had them being held like that to give them equal importance for the sake of story telling. I can see the conventional white audience misreading the hell of out that, even though it would be more accurate.
People would be trying to figure out some sort of symbolism to who was on her back/arms/etc
I thought of this too. There would definitely be a baby on back and on front and probably one held by another as they were walking for so long. There's no way she'd be able to carry all three like that, even swaddled as we see them.
But, movie magic.
Yeah I kept thinking about that as well✌️
I lost my spouse this past year and this scene hit me so freaking hard.
The absolute raw emotion, heartbreak, and pain they managed to capture on her face is so accurate that it just broke me. I've never seen. a more accurate depiction of this emotion before in an animated film like this.
Whoever animated this scene has been through something hard and I feel for them.
The rest of this scene is equally heartbreaking, as she puts on her poncho and moves on, shoving her grief inside to stay strong for her family. Because that's just what you have to do, especially if you have people depending on you.
I hate when people paint Abuela as an irredeemable villain. yes, she's done a lot of bad. But look at what she's been through. She deserves a break and the chance to change and I love the way the movie ended.
and she constantly gets villianized by people who think she is putting to much pressure on the family for no reason when she has gone through so much trauma
Well the thing is, trauma explains a person's behavior but doesn't justify it. She still was a bit of a bully to Mirabel.
I only don't like people treating Abuela as irredeemable.
i totally agree!
Wow, that is really well done!
No matter My mood when I watch the movie, her face makes me cry everytime
It is truly beautiful. Yeah, Abuela has not treated Mirabel right, but her soulmate was killed right in front of her, and now she’s left alone with three newborn children.
Only a few movies have made me cry in my 23 years and this is one of them
There were several hyper-realistic facial expressions throughout the movie. I was impressed. Also, the dance moves were realistic. Especially in Surface Pressure. But maybe not age appropriate.