Friday, May 15, 2015

Movie with Abe: The Film Critic

The Film Critic
Directed by Hernán Guerschuny
Released May 15, 2015

What better movie for a film critic to review than one about a film critic? It’s always fascinating to see how those who spend their lives writing about movies are portrayed in front of the camera. Victor Tellez (Rafael Spregelburd) writes for a newspaper in Argentina and is well known for his rating of films by number of seats rather than stars. He has long since lost his sense of optimism towards the medium, and his fine tastes have only grown, as he describes the film’s narration, which, pretentiously, finds him thinking in French rather than his own native language.

Victor sits down in a screening room ready to skewer each film that he sees, no longer enchanted by the idea that something might impress him. He tires of clichés and values the quality of classics above all else. He is accosted in a restaurant by a young director whose first film he eviscerated, and his editor threatens to change one of his reviews to a much more favorable take to appease studio interests. All that changes, of course, when he finds the apartment of his dreams only to discover that an alluring young woman, Sofia (Dolores Fonzi), has beaten him to the punch and snagged it. Sofia begins to appear frequently in his life, constantly forcing him out of his comfort zone and beginning to make him look at the world in a positive way.

“The Film Critic” handles its events in appropriately cinematic fashion, underlining every filmic trope that comes along and allowing Victor to react in a way that illustrates just how a life lived through cinema reflects a certain attitude about how things will or won’t transpire. The film reaches its most entertaining points when Victor desperately protests against an overromanticized sentiment or some event that feels too forced, trying to control and critique it rather than acknowledge its inevitability. In one memorable scene, Victor cries out, “I’m trapped in a genre in which I don’t belong,” signifying just how self-aware he is of the unexpected path on which he is on, one that feels all too prewritten. Like all films that are over-the-top, this film takes some strange turns along the way, but overall it’s a humorous, smart parody of what happens when someone tries to take himself too seriously or let his work define him, and, most of all, a half-endearing tribute to a profession that’s all about enjoying movies.


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