Argentine Ricardo Darín and Spaniard Javier Cámara are beautifully paired in the most garlanded Spanish film of the year, a warm and humorous drama of male friendship shaded with imminent mortality.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
Since the success of the Argentinian thriller The Secret in Their Eyes actor Ricardo Darín has gone from national hero to international star. This February he won Spain’s Oscar-equivalent, the Goya, for Best Actor for his beautifully layered performance in the Spanish drama Truman. The film itself, a warm, understated and frequently humorous tale of male friendship in the face of imminent mortality, in fact scooped the awards: Best Film, Director (Cesc Gay), Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor (Almodóvar favourite, Javier Cámara).
Darín plays Julián, a stage actor diagnosed with terminal cancer, making the very most, as stylishly as possible, of the time left to him. Cámara is Tomás, a teacher who left Spain years ago to start a new life in Toronto. He returns to Madrid, unsure how he can best serve his old friend. The two men wander old haunts, recall the past, try putting right a few old wrongs, notably with Julián’s son, and most important of all, seek a new owner for his beloved bullmastiff, Truman. Their rapport brings out the best in both actors and finds ample gentle laughter in a very moving story.
“Cesc Gay’s wise, wistful and well-observed film about two friends enjoying a final reunion in the shadow of impending death, is by turns amusing and affecting – and quite often both at once… Truman proceeds along a rambling path at a leisurely tread… But the passing of time rarely makes itself felt, for director Gay, working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Tomàs Aragay, gives his audience such personable traveling companions for this seriocomic journey.” — Joe Leydon, Variety