Last Sunday was the world premiere of THE DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN at Venice Film Festival’s Official Competition, followed by ten minutes of constant ovation and some rumours about Oscar Martínez being a substantial candidate to win the best main actor for his memorable performance.
There’s plenty of comic potential in The Distiguished Citizen’s premise, but in the hands of directing duo Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat this 2016 Venice competition contender becomes something deeper, darker and more resonant than a droll tale of an ill-advised homecoming. It touches on issues such as small-town conformism as a metaphor for national conformism, the difficult trade-off between artistic freedom and artistic responsibilities, and the way fame has become a value in itself, detached from merit – and is therefore as easily the object of contempt as admiration.
Released in Argentina by Buena Vista a few days after its Venice premiere, this most ambitious film to date from a duo known as much for their successful TV formats as for their left-field cinematic features and documentaries has enough international arthouse audience appeal to overcome a few socio-political references that only locals are likely to pick up on. It reads like a humorous contemporary companion piece, as a study of an ageing Latin American writer who refuses to lie down quietly and become a docile “national treasure”.
Played with nuance and gusto by Oscar Martinez (Wild Tales), the film spirals into a dark cautionary tale about the dangers of revisiting the past, as well as a smart satire about how institutions and social groups perpetuate mediocrity in art, and life.
The DoP-directors’ largely handheld shooting style gives a freshness to the comedy without pushing into mockumentary territory; but mostly it’s the script, performances and sure sense of comic timing that make Cohn and Duprat’s.
Source: Screen International – Lee Marshall
The original review: Click here!
We wish to congratulate to all the cast and crew for their amazing work, and wish to thank to Screen International for their review!