Official Competition – Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz Have Fun in a Comedy About Movie-Making


The latest comedy from Spain, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is about the unlikely romance between a young woman and an aging actor. Directed by Antonio Banderas, the film features plenty of cameos and Spanish-speaking actors like Penelope Cruz, who gives her husband’s character some much needed comic relief as he battles with his own self-esteem issues.

The “penélope cruz and antonio banderas movies” is a movie that follows the story of two friends who make a comedy about movie-making. The film was released in 2008, with Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz playing the leads.

REVIEW OF THE MOVIE – A millionaire businessman intends to develop a film that will go down in history as a landmark. He employs Lola Cuevas, a well-known director, Félix Rivero, a Hollywood star, and Iván Torres, a radical theater actor. They are a smart team that is unable to collaborate. Rivero and Torres have tremendous skill, but they also have massive egos. Lola confronts them with a series of more creative tasks…

 

The tale provided by Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn has a clear mise en abyme, as the title suggests. This feature film is partially about cinema and, more specifically, behind-the-scenes filmmaking. It’s not about filming, but about assembling a crew for a film project, and then, more importantly, about the preparations that will eventually lead to shooting, since going through the whole construction chain would take too long. Except for the fact that Official Competition is a parody and a lighthearted comedy. The two directors had a fantastic time with their characters, ironizing on stardom and the drive to create a spectacular picture that would arouse emotions. Before encountering the general audience, the passions of the persons working on the film are investigated. This is a narrative told from the perspectives of three characters: Palme d’Or winner Lola Cuevas (Penelope Cruz), Hollywood star Felix Rivero (Antonio Banderas), and theatrical performer Ivan Torres (Oscar Martinez). The three personalities are certain to collide. Even though the film begins with a businessman who intends to make a film in order to leave a mark on history, he is no longer central to the plot.

 

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Three formidable personalities

 

Three formidable personalities meet, trying to work together. The filmmaker is a demanding and wild person at the same time. The Hollywood star is pretentious and needs all the attention. Then the stage actor is rather discreet, down earth and radical in his ideas. Beyond their respective supposed talents, a battle of egos takes place in this comedy. Three points of view mean three different worlds. That’s what makes this film so interesting. Duprat and Cohn use every detail to identify each other’s universe to ironize and bring a bit of burlesque when they have to connect. Each personality has its own projection in the set and the staging. Penelope Cruz’s character projects her eccentricity and sense of excess (a scene with a big rock hanging over the two actors is very funny). Antonio Banderas’s character projects his refinement and permanent decadence, Oscar Martinez’s character projects a sense of knowledge and discretion. With these three universes projected in one and the same field of the frame, the whole process of creation passes from the imaginary to the real.

 

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witty humour

 

The film has witty humour and a rather sharp analysis of film creation, but it uses it precisely to celebrate the artist’s vocation. It doesn’t matter what form it takes: whether it’s filmmaking, acting, or even through the appearances of the people in charge of costumes, sets, etc. Spaces are thus significant in the rhythm of the story. Even though it is above all a comedy, there is a real desire to leave space for the characters’ imagination to study their creative process anchored in reality. That is to say: the imaginary is always bigger than the real. It has a space that is always denser. So, to give it all the space it needs when it comes to showing the preparations for a film, we have to give the means to the real to push it beyond, for example, by transforming spaces. When a theatre stage becomes a place of destruction rather than creation, when a reception area becomes a scene of danger, when a dark and empty studio becomes an (almost) entire world, etc., whether it is through the characters (and their egos) or through the spaces they occupy in preparation for this shoot, it is all about image. The one they try to give and create determines the place they take.

 

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To each individual’s individuality

 

That’s why the attitudes of Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martinez are critical. To each individual’s individuality, to each their way of occupying the space. The theatre actor is rather discreet and the oldest of the three. He is, therefore, the one who does not try to transcend the space but to impose himself by the force of words. On the contrary, the Hollywood star invites several counter-plongées because he likes to be seen and show himself. Always with a lot of colours, unlike his partner in the film, he seeks to radiate and blind as he likes to recall all the awards he has won. He is also a character who gets agitated a lot, rather angry (and easily), so much his body is a more important tool for him than his mind.

Then there’s the director. She doesn’t attempt to take up all of the room or force herself like a conductor or a sports coach, who are both demanding and crazy. She is the one who begins the actions that point Duprat and Cohn’s cameras in the right direction. She allows for some pretty weird and humorous moments, but she is most importantly the embodiment of spontaneity. The satire is strong because the filmmaker’s imagined craziness is built up bit by little. Her sense of excess is as significant as the feelings she speaks about all she observed in her life, revealing a profound sensitivity. Images in which an artist’s creativity bursts out, but which do not go much farther than this spirit of sarcasm without losing its amusement value.

Some parts of the film, especially towards the end, may seem too predictable for some viewers. Still, these narrative choices do not detract from the overall experience. Despite its commitment to witty humour and sharp analysis, Competencia Oficial is, at its core, a celebration of artists and their processes.

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REVIEW – A millionaire businessman intends to develop a film that will go down in history as a landmark. He employs Lola Cuevas, a well-known director, Félix Rivero, a Hollywood star, and Iván Torres, a radical theater actor. They are a smart team that is unable to collaborate. Rivero and Torres have tremendous skill, but they also have massive egos. Lola presents them with a series of more creative tasks… The tale provided by Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn has a clear mise en abyme, as the title suggests. This feature film is partially about cinema, and more specifically, it is about…

Official Competition – Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz Have a Good Time in a Filmmaking Comedy

Official Competition – Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz Have a Good Time in a Filmmaking Comedy

2022-03-22

Gergely Herpai (BadSector)

Some viewers may find aspects of the film, particularly at the conclusion, to be excessively predictable. Despite this, the overall experience is not harmed by these narrative decisions. Competencia Oficial is, at its heart, a celebration of artists and their process, despite its devotion to stinging humor and critical critique.

9.2 Direction
8.4 for acting
Story – 7
7 visuals/music
8.6 Ambiance

8

EXCELLENT

Some viewers may find aspects of the film, particularly at the conclusion, to be excessively predictable. Despite this, the overall experience is not harmed by these narrative decisions. Competencia Oficial is, at its heart, a celebration of artists and their process, despite its devotion to stinging humor and critical critique.

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The “2000 comedy movies” is a new movie that is coming out soon. The film stars Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, who have been friends for years. In the movie, they are both struggling actors and are trying to make it big in Hollywood.

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