Truman movie poster

If what the docs say is correct, Julián (Ricardo Darin) is the first of Tomás’ (Javier Cámara) close friends that he will outlive with 100% degree of certainty. Traveling from Canada to Madrid to pay a surprise visit, Tomás spends the next four days bearing witness to the hardest, most intimate decisions his cancer-ravaged friend (or any of us) will ever have to make. Director and co-writer Cesc Gay renders a realistically carpentered cinematic hospice of sorts, vitalized and cultivated, that, not unlike its believably contrasting leads, is at once gentle and powerful. It wouldn’t work without the smashing gallows humor and unhesitating irony — colleagues enter a restaurant, “smell death,” and avert their gaze, while the guy whose life Julián practically ruined walks up to the table and sincerely express regret. Gay proves a skilled messenger of both. Not your typical cancer drama anchored in grief, instead a clear-sighted journey that makes demands on one’s emotions in the most unlikely ways. 2015.

Scott Marks


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