Sun. Feb 23rd, 2020

An inglorious escape for Ben Stiller in Cannes

An inglorious escape for Ben Stiller in Cannes



When the sun goes down and the Mipcom closes its doors, the participants decide between enjoying a rosé in front of the sea or an exclusive screening, like "Escape at Dannemora", the series directed by Ben Stiller with a luxury cast but hardly He managed to start the applause of the public.

Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette and Paul Dano head the cast of the new big production of Showtime, whose president, David Nevins, before starting the screening on Monday, introduced it saying that "today, only television gives the freedom to do projects A) Yes".

However, some spectators did not hesitate to get up and leave the auditorium while projecting the first chapter, an hour long, in which they put the cards on the table for this drama, inspired by the surreal escape of two prisoners of one New York State Prison in 2015.

Del Toro plays Richard Matt, Dano gets into the shoes of David Sweat and Arquette in that of Tilly Mitchell, a married correctional worker who had a sexual relationship with them, while Bonnie Hunt is the General Inspector of the State and Catherine Leahy Scott, who led the investigation.

From the first minute you can see a seventies influence of the action cinema in the careful images, which Stiller later recognized during a question and answer session that is a tribute to the films he grew up with, such as "Dog Day Afternoon", starring classic by Al Pacino.

Stiller, known for her comedic roles in "Her parents", "Something happens with Mary" and others directed by himself, such as "Zoolander", has dedicated two years of his life to this project, in which he practically interfered two months after the escape, when the men had already been hunted and, in the case of Matt, dead.

The team spent almost a year studying and shaping the project and even found Sweat and Leahy Scott, whose research ended up being the theme of "Escape at Dannemora".

"The inspector has a great sense of humor with her work and we felt that this relationship was very important and that it would be interesting to see the series through her research, which is what served as material" for the same, Stiller said at the close of the first day of the Mipcom, which takes place in Cannes until this Thursday.

Hence, they signed Hunt, an actress known for her funny roles in "Beethoven", "Jumanji", and other family comedies of the 90s.

The difficulty of this narrative, in which Stiller tried to focus on the relationships and personality of each individual reflecting the particular ecosystem of the prison, was to know what part of those involved were true.

So much so that the initial script with which they attracted Stiller was built on the basis of speculation, such as what leads a prison official to get involved with two murderers. He insisted that he wanted a story that was as close to reality as possible.

According to the inspector, the character played by Arquette was in fact "malevolent" and, at a time during the preparation of the escape, the woman even considered murdering her husband.

Dano ("There will be blood", "Youth") gets into the head of Sweat, with whom he interviewed several times, and manages to "reflect that internal sensitivity that Sweat feels for himself." A guy who killed an officer but I felt I did not have to be there, "Stiller said.

The elegant presence of Benicio Del Toro, which the director took "several meetings" to convince, ends the cast of a series that many attendees received with skepticism and comments such as: "another series of prisons" (the first thing that Stiller wanted avoid, as recognized) or "If it were not for the distribution, I would not see it".

The applause was not prolonged and the room emptied quickly to resume the search for the lost pink.

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