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A sterile drama about euthanasia with Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill opens the San Sebastian Festival


The same happens with good taste as with reason: with age and with a little training you end up having it. The problem is that it is usually associated with ailments such as choles

  • San Sebastian Festival. Closer to parity

The same happens with good taste as with reason: with age and with a little training you end up having it . The problem is that it is usually associated with ailments such as cholesterol, lumbago, alopecia or, as appropriate and gender, erectile dysfunction. And, even more serious, as everything usually comes at once, there is no way to distinguish the cause of the symptom, and it is never clear if being bald, suffering from back pain or having 240 HDL in blood (sex, we do not even talk ) enables one to decorate the dining room as it should. What leaves no doubt is that you have good taste (or reason) when you can't have anything else.

Roger Michell, for example and with no intention of offending more than fair, has good taste. The hit comedy Notting Hill or ironic and duly crepuscular dramas such as Venus or Le Week-End prove it. His cinema is always offered with adequate and wise containment as far from the hasty judgments as from the displays outside the score. And it is there, in a as acute as a serious medium tone, where it looks as fine as alien to the evil of moderation. Win whole, yes, when his films are signed by the writer Hanif Kureishi. Let's say, even if it sounds contradictory, that your good taste is to hide just that: your excessive good taste.

But sometimes, and that is the case of Blackbird (The decision) , he is seen; It shows too much. And that is when you leave the cinema convinced that you have suffered an overdose of good taste. The film was well inaugurated the 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival and did so with a correction that was excessive in only sterile. Or simply allopathic. As we say, there is no way to distinguish the cause from the consequence.

To situate us, the film tells exactly the same thing as Silent Heart , the Swedish film Bille August presented here five years ago. In fact, it is a remake where only the actors and the house change. Where Ghita Nørby and Morten Grunwald used to appear, now Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill do. And not far away, there Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska join the feast.

A woman diagnosed with a terminal illness brings her relatives together to not only tell them that she does not want to continue living, but to stop doing so. It is a conscious, thoughtful and, we add, just suicide. In both cases, both in the original and in the copy, the idea is to follow the step to the drama without subjecting the viewer to the dubious exercise of the opinions, letting it be the characters' reasons that make their way through the screen. " It is not a film to go out to protest or demand a law of euthanasia," says the director demonstrating his good taste again.

And so, the film advances without solemnities and without overwhelming; without approaching more than just the limit of anguish. It is not, to understand us, of Love , by Michael Haneke . The goal is not to resolve the inviolability of life but the opportunity of death. The problem in this case, and that makes this film significantly inferior to its predecessor, is the obvious will of distance, of dissimulation if you want. Everything is so calculated, so perfectly arranged, that, at times, it seems out of the world. The asepsis ends up eating any hint of that life that should necessarily stain.

The actors move around the screen as they would at the School of Dramatic Arts, each convinced of the urgency of not looking like that, actors. But there is no way. The characters are barely seen, everything is interpretation, everything results from such exquisite good taste that it ends up being no more than that . And of course, in the end, one ends up doubting whether it is not precisely good taste that is responsible for alopecia, cholesterol and even the other.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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  • culture
  • movie theater
  • Euthanasia

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