Set during the months before the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, Butterfly's Tongue is a handsomely photographed, but rather sluggish coming-of-age drama.
The story focuses on eight-year-old Moncho (Lozano), who lives with his family in rural Galicia. Initially terrified of attending school, Moncho is befriended by kindly elderly teacher Don Gregorio (Gomez). But the arrival of Franco's troops ensures that everyone's lives will be radically altered.
There are obvious echoes here of Cinema Paradiso in the central youngster/father-figure relationship, as well as some of its bittersweet nostalgia. But the pacing is sedentary, the drama predictable, and it's left to the ending to provide a belated emotional charge.