When a U.S. cinephile thinks of Argentine movies, they probably think of Ricardo Darín. The award-winning TV and film star is considered by some to be the George Clooney of Argentina, and he is one of the most recognized Spanish-speaking actors currently at work in Latin America.
Darín stars in the next Fresno Filmworks offering, “Truman,” on Dec. 9. He plays an aging stage actor diagnosed with terminal cancer, who has decided to forego further treatment and enjoy his remaining days. This includes reviving a lifelong friendship, righting old wrongs, and seeking a new home for his beloved dog Truman.
Fresno audiences will particularly recognize Darín from a trio of films that have played at the historic Tower Theatre.
In this gender-positive Cannes award-winning drama—directed by screenwriter Lucía Puenzo and shown at the 2008 Fresno Reel Pride film festival—Darín plays a biologist and the father of a young intersex person who’s born with both male and female chromosomes and who has ambiguous gender identity. To avoid society’s scrutiny, the family moves to a remote seaside village, where the teen becomes interested in their doctor’s gay son and the family confronts the deep difficulties of gender choices.
“The Secret in Their Eyes” (2009)
In this Oscar-winning and genre-busting crime thriller—directed by Juan José Campanella and shown by Filmworks in June 2010—Darín plays a retired legal counselor who decides to write a novel based on an unsolved rape and murder. As he digs into the past, he not only uncovers dangerous clues about the killer but also about his own long-buried romance with the judge who worked the case. An Americanized version of the film was made in 2015, with Chiwetel Ejiofor playing a more hard-boiled lead.
“Wild Tales” (2014)
In these six standalone vignettes of vengeance and getting even—directed by veteran Argentine screenwriter Damián Szifron and shown by Filmworks in June 2015—Darín plays a demolitions expert whose car is towed and impounded while he picks up a birthday cake for his daughter. His angry attempts to protest the fine quickly leads to a downward spiral that lands him in jail, gets him fired, and becomes the last straw in a divorce, all before an unlikely opportunity presents itself for him to emerge as a hero.
Jefferson Beavers serves as development director for Fresno Filmworks.