© Universum/Ascot Elite/24 Bilder

Freunde fürs Leben (Truman)
Spain,/Argentina 2015

Opening 25 Feb 2016

Directed by: Cesc Gay
Writing credits: Tomás Aragay, Cesc Gay
Principal actors: Ricardo Darín, Javier Cámara, Dolore Fonzi, Eduard Fernández, Alex Bendemöhl

Tomás (Camara) is so moved by bad news from his old school friend Julián (Darin), that he drops everything and flies from his home in Canada to visit Julián in Madrid. Julián, a divorced former actor, has cancer and rejects further treatment. He has accepted his fate, and tries to put his life in order, mainly what to do with his fateful dog Truman (the namesake of the English title). Tomás drops original intentions to change Julián’s attitude toward treatment. He decides to make his four-day stay as optimistic as possible. Together they meet up with Cousin Paula, a neighbor Elena, as well as ex-wife Gloria. They even fly to Julián’s 22-year-old son Nico in Amsterdam, who is totally surprised to learn about the illness of his father. The dog finds a home; Tomás flies back to his family in Canada. 

Basically, that’s it, all very heart-tugging about the power of friendship and the inevitability of death. Perhaps films about getting older, assessing life and dying are the trend, once again. A similar film is the Danish Silent Heart, which will open in Germany one month later.  And last year older people were the topic in Youth, Mr. Holmes, Remember, Familienfest, 45 Years, and The Farewell Party just to name a few, of which, naturally, not all were depressing nor did they solely concentrate on dying of a fatal disease. If this is your topic, you will not be disappointed with the excellent acting and interaction among the “friends for life.”  This showed at festivals in Toronto and Zurich. Darin and Camara won best actors at the San Sebastián film festival. It has six nominations for the Spanish Oscar – called GOYA. (Becky Tan)

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