It was the curtain riser of the Cannes Film Festival and is already creating the buzz: the latest film by Asghar Farhadi, featuring the most glamour couple of Hollywood (Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem) is right up there with the previous films of the Iranian film director.
Here are four reasons to rush and see the film:
Because the pitch is captivating
Halfway between a family drama and a thriller, the film takes place in a small wine village of the Spanish countryside. To attend the wedding of her sister, Laura (Penélope Cruz) comes back from Argentina, where she is settled with her husband and their two children. She is welcomed by her entire family and by Paco (Javier Bardem), the great love of her youth. The evening of the wedding, Irene, the daughter of Laura, is kidnapped. This pernicious kidnapping triggers the tensions and things not said in the family that keep us on edge from the beginning until the end. In this closed-door village, the scenario mingles jealousies, betrayals, secrets, poisoned family ties: in short all the necessary ingredients to captivate you during a little more than two hours.
Because Pénélope Cruz and Javier Bardem are mesmerizing
While it’s not the first time the two actors perform together, they are particularly talented in this film played in their native tongue, Spanish. While Javier Bardem soberly incarnates the love of Laura determined to find her young daughter, Penélope Cruz is stunning as the wounded mother: most often teary-eyed, without makeup, dressed in a hurry, the muse of Almodovar strikes the right notes, without falling in the pathos of this difficult role.
Because of... Asghar Farhadi
The film director had this scenario on hold since … five years! Why did it take him so long to give birth to this film? Surely to work on all his carefully studied images, to revisit his obsessions of family mechanisms, or to focus on the script of each character, since every small detail counts. The atmospheres, just like the Spanish joy of living that open this drama, recall the best films of Pedro Almodovar. We were aware of this film director mostly because of the success he encountered with his film, A Separation in 2010, that takes place in Teheran, we rediscover him, a far cry from his Iranian culture, in this rural Spain, where an intense drama led with mastery takes place.
To (re)discover the Agentinian Depardieu
If you don’t know Ricardo Darin, you have no excuse not to go see this film! As the pious and desperate husband of Laura, the actor incarnates Alejandro, the character around which most of the intrigue’s questionings are crystallized. The Argentinian star, who had already made a strong impression in Wild Tales (2014), brilliantly plays this role and very quickly leads us in the infernal spiral involving the deep dark secrets of this Spanish family.