Official Competitors evaluate – Penélope Cruz on hearth in scrumptious film trade satire

Official Competitors evaluate – Penélope Cruz on hearth in scrumptious film trade satire

It’s intelligent casting – and really entertaining – to place display screen goddess Penélope Cruz within the position of a celebrity movie director. Cruz is most well-known for her working relationship with Pedro Almodóvar; typically she’s described as his muse – demeaningly, I feel. Properly, with this playful satire of the film trade, Argentinian film-making duo Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat give her all the facility within the position of a borderline tyrannical auteur with a bonkers streak (suppose Marina Abramović or possibly even Björk). Carrying a large curly wig – produced from saucepan scourers, it seems like – Cruz lets rip with a deliciously enjoyable efficiency.

She performs eccentric director Lola Cuevas, who’s beginning rehearsals for her new movie: an adaptation of a prize-winning novel in regards to the rivalry between two brothers. Lola’s casting tactic is to rent two actors from totally different worlds within the leads. Taking part in the no-good drunken brother is Félix Rivero (Antonio Banderas), a worldwide film star with a mega-watt smile, however a bit dim within the brains division. Reverse him, revered stage actor Iván Torres (Oscar Martínez) takes the position of the strait-laced brother.

Their inventive processes couldn’t be extra totally different: Félix places menthol in his eyes earlier than scenes requiring him to cry. Iván believes in inhabiting a personality’s physique and soul. They’ll’t stand one another. Félix is clearly a diva, however Iván has his vanities too. There’s an excellent scene the place Lola spies on him practising his fantasy Oscar acceptance speech (besides it’s a rejection speech, pompously renouncing such fripperies).

What Lola does is to pit the 2 actors towards each other to get to the psychological reality of the piece. She’s received a merciless streak, and each males are at her mercy. To make them actually really feel the stress rehearsing one scene, she suspends a rock the scale of a backyard shed above their heads from a crane. I don’t consider for a second this could ever occur in actual life. However then, Official Competitors seems extra like a satire of widespread perceptions in regards to the trade quite than the trade itself.

It’s a really humorous movie, sending-up human absurdities with out being too imply. Cruz is a proficient comic, however she neatly performs it straight-ish right here. You by no means doubt for a second Lola is the actual deal. Nor that Cruz is both.

Official Competitors is launched on 26 August in cinemas and on Curzon Dwelling Cinema.

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