With a title that’s certain to confuse, Official Competitors premieres on the 78th Venice Worldwide Movie Competition on Sept. 4 — in official competitors for the coveted Golden Lion. The comedy, directed by Argentinians Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat, stars Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz as a film star and director who crew as much as make a billionaire’s dream of manufacturing an award-winning movie come true. Banderas’ first time in official competitors at Venice got here in 1999 with his directorial debut, Loopy in Alabama, starring his former spouse, Melanie Griffith. (The couple met on the set of the 1995 screwball comedy Two A lot and married the next yr; they divorced in 2015, citing irreconcilable variations.)
Primarily based on the 1993 Mark Childress novel, the 1999 comedy drama was set in opposition to the civil rights motion in 1965 and follows the escape of a mother of seven in a nasty marriage and dead-end existence. Griffith performs the mother, Lucille, who firstly of the movie poisons her abusive husband, decapitates him and carries his head round in a Tupperware container. The movie additionally options Meat Loaf as a redneck sheriff who taunts Black protesters demanding to make use of a “whites-only” public swimming pool. Sarkarijob liked the movie, calling it in its overview a “profitable leisure largely due to first-time director Banderas’ full of life, perceptive and infrequently moody strategy to the fabric” and praising Griffith for “going to city in one in every of her greatest roles in years.”
However regardless of a smattering of different optimistic notices, critics typically discovered the entire endeavor laborious to swallow. After the Venice screening, the viewers responded “with an equal measure of booing and hisses,” THR reported Sept. 10, 1999. The movie, budgeted at $15 million ($25 million immediately), grossed solely $2 million for Columbia Photos ($3 million immediately) and put Griffith within the operating for a Razzie for worst actress (which she misplaced to Heather Donahue for The Blair Witch Mission).
This story first appeared in Sarkarijob’s Sept. 3 day by day difficulty on the Venice Worldwide Movie Competition.