Antonio Banderas' egotistical film star and Oscar Martínez’s pretentious stage actor vie for the attention of Penélope Cruz’s wayward director in this delightfully entertaining Spanish satire.
Independent cinema darling and Cannes Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker Lola Cuevas (Cruz) is approached by an ageing, ailing business mogul to make a film that he hopes will be his legacy for the world. Intended as an adaptation of a much-loved literary work, Cuevas has more experimental intentions. Given carte blanche over the casting, she pits acclaimed but stiflingly snobbish theatre actor Ivan Torres (Martínez) against handsome but superficial screen icon Felix Rivero (Banderas), believing that the inevitable tension between the two can only help the film’s dynamic. As the three gather for a nine-day rehearsal they are each pushed to their wits’ end as they suffer for their art.
Although it features enjoyably outlandish performances from the entire cast, it is Cruz who steals the show, with her passion and wildly out-of-control hair representing the film itself – maniacal, intense and wholly hilarious.
"A sly satire that also manages to be a showcase for the comedic chops of its stars...skewers the pretensions of cinema, hilariously" - Washington Post
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