Sánchez Arévalo, that rare director with good feelings | Culture

The opinion of El País film critic about The Wasp Network, whose protagonist, Penelope Cruz, was awarded this Friday with the Donostia Award.

Seventeen, produced by Netflix, Spanish film, does not compete in the official section. It must have seemed excessively tender, old, according to the stupid idiot of so much imposter that militates to seek life or by vocation (I don't know what is worse) in what modernity and new times advise, which have always been as abject as the last. He directs it Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, a very rare uncle, an unusual director in the best sense, someone who prints undisputed brand to everything he creates. And he has always gone against the tide, he makes the films he wants to make, with the imprint of an unsettling brain and spirit, that goes to his roll, with arguments, characters and dialogues that would alert a conventional producer, including progressives, even if it's only in the background of: how much will I take if I get into this strange move?

This man started with an admirable film: Dark blue almost black. Was his Citizen Kane and it must be difficult to survive so much praise, to inscribe your name with gold letters in Spanish cinema. And he continued with irregular offers, talking about fat and of cousins with a very daring language, but that always reveal the intelligence and sensitivity of someone special, against the tide because it surely does not want or can be otherwise. Seventeen It is a film that advocates good feelings, so devalued them among the most disgusting and prestigious current (you have to see the idiots, only recognized for their tiny family, which gives them understanding and bull) of modern cinema.

Count the short sentimental journey and plagued with difficulties between an autistic teenager (I do not know if you can still use that word without being put in jail), as effective as underground sentimental and a protective brother, desolate because he suffers the abandonment of his wife before his terror to be father, accompanying a dying grandmother. Everything sounds silly, but Arévalo introduces good humor, paradoxes with cause, first class humanity, devilish dialogues, situations that move you. To me, at least, that I have a mother in a similar situation for an infinite time and with whom I would never make that resolute and strange journey. I have used my old-fashioned and cloying term (the fakers say) of "something beautiful" to books, music, paintings, women and movies. Y Seventeen It is beautiful, intelligent, eccentric, tender, a tribute to the homeless who must learn to lose, that it serves them, that does not constitute their eternal ruin.

The Wasp Network, directed by Olivier Assayas, director who never interested me in his facet as a critic, nor his psychological, twisted, empty, pretentious cinema, he does well when he gets into intrigue stories about real characters and stories. His portrait of the terrorist Carlos, the Jackal, that allegedly radical individual who starred in events as murky as bloodthirsty, was fine. Here is the infiltration in Miami of a network of Castro's espionage to neutralize the terrorist movements in Cuba of exiled people. It is discreet, it is entertaining, it is acceptable.

That is scheduled here is based on the latest work of Penelope Cruz, awarded with the Donostia Prize. She is very credible in the character of a woman who believed in the Revolution and who notes with astonishment that her husband has left Miami, who has become a traitor. And, of course, everything is more complex than it seems. Penelope Cruz, that beautiful woman (I accept that the Inquisition intrusions me for using macho expressions) as an excellent actress (and to see who the hell condemns me for something so obvious) is, as always, very good. When he started I was bothered by his intensity, that he always shouted. For a long time it seems to me a formidable actress. And also in legitimate possession of that attribute so scarce and anxious known as stardom. This aunt is very good. And her husband, Javier Bardem, equally. For me, it is a pleasure to see and hear them on the screen. They are talent, magnetism, conviction.

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