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Señor Kaplan (Mr. Kaplan)
Spain/Uruguay/Germany 2014

Opening 16 Jul 2015

Directed by: Álvaro Brechner
Writing credits: Álvaro Brechner
Principal actors: Héctor Noguera, Néstor Guzzini, Rolf Becker, Nidia Telles, Nuria Fló

In this zany black comedy, crotchety Jacob Kaplan (Héctor Noguera) at 76 is having an identity crisis. Upon his driving license being revoked, his family arranges a driver. The first meeting with easy-going – despite his checkered work history – Wilson (Néstor Guzzini) falls flat. During a subsequent heart-to-heart with his 18-year-old granddaughter (Nuria Fló), Jacob learns about an old German immigrant at the beach. Later, a TV news report about ex-Nazis gets his imagination going. An initial foray to the beach whets his appetite; begrudgingly, Jacob acknowledges he needs Wilson. Their investigative escapades frustrate his sons (Gustavo Saffores, Hugo Piccinini), catch the attention of The German (Rolf Becker), and confound his patient, loving wife (Nidia Telles). But, when the table is turned, the pair walk away grateful, and wiser. Through it all, Jacob and Wilson – diametrically dissimilar – lean on and learn from each other.

Álvaro Brechner writes and directs this very likable, layered film that engages at every twist. The thespians are tremendous, especially the excellent comic timing and delivery from Noguera and Guzzini’s, whose relationship is the crux of the story, and Telles’ sympathetic dignity is poignantly weighty. Alvaro Gutierrez’s unusually framed cinematography, with Mikel Salas’ jaunty, eclectic music and Nacho Ruiz Capillas and Alvaro Brechner’s fine-tuned editing nicely polish it off. Notwithstanding some serious topics therein, Señor Kaplan defies not laughing along during Jacob and Wilson’s full-fledged capers. In the end, Jacob gets the last laugh, and perhaps Uruguay will win a foreign-language Oscar® with this submission. (Marinell Haegelin)

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