Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Directors: Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn
‘Official Competition’ is a delight.
It completely lacerates the film world: Hollywood, Arthouse, pretentious creatives … and it does so with a very sharp razor slathered in affection.
A mega-billionaire (José Luis Gómez) realises that though he has made masses of money, he has done nothing that is actually worthwhile and decides to create a legacy that is more ‘special’ than a bridge or a hospital.
He approaches the coolest director of the day; the eccentric, cigar-smoking lesbian Lola Cuevas (Penélope Cruz), and offers her a blank cheque to embed his name alongside the greats of cultural history. He happily agrees to finance a film adaption of an acclaimed novel that he has not read, starring the two most coveted actors of the day; Felix Rivero, a narcissistic Hollywood ‘It’ man (Antonio Banderas)… and Iván Torres, a pompous and elitist Arthouse god (Oscar Martínez) … and the billionaire’s niece. Natch!
What takes place is art mirroring reality mirroring art as Cruz basically persecutes her two leading men to bring out the tension of their relationship (the 'to be made' film script's plot revolves around two brothers, one responsible for the imprisonment of the other, in a weirdly twisting tale of revenge).
With the utmost creativity she tortures them. My favourite scene is when she clingwraps both together so they cannot move and then throws their treasured film awards into a metal cruncher to explore the emotional depth of their egos. Delicious!
And Lola herself is not above send up. She is a self-centred horror, to put it bluntly. Alone in her double bed at night she watches a beautiful live dancer/muse enticingly move to the latest techno beats … and on occasion she will put a vacuum tube from her mouth to her ear and mutter things like “Whore. Goddess, Fraud, Bitch, Genius ...’ and so on and so forth to get her creative juices flowing. Kinky? Just a tad :)
You’ll love this film.
Everyone is appalling!