‘Poker face’, Russell Crowe’s ace

carlos martinez

Today the premieres will allow us to forget that the card has gotten out of hand at Christmas, that we are on a diet and that we have not yet signed up for the gym or the English course.

The first to help that is a triple XL size Russell Crowe who has directed, scripted and starred in a less playful film than it should be entitled ‘Poker face’. He himself reserves the role of an eccentric millionaire who gathers his best friends to play a strange game of poker where a few secrets are revealed. The bad thing is that, without being invited, the rich man’s family and some rather unpleasant thieves appear.

I will tell you as an anecdote that our Elsa Pataky has a very brief role, but that does not make a film that is too routine and that does not give what is expected, even if little is expected, any better. It’s a movie that bluffs, and it doesn’t take much footage to realize that it’s not what it pretends to be. One waits all the time for a four-of-a-kind to come out, or for the manager to pull out an ace up his sleeve, but in the end the bank wins and not the spectator. So one leaves the timba (sorry, the cinema) as if they had exchanged a Rolex for a Casio, or a Ferrari for a Twingo.

Since we are talking about stars in movies that crash, let’s go next with one in which the screen monsters Robert de el Río Niro and John Malkovich sign another alimentary work in which they play two secondary characters in the story of an improbable ex-drug addict with a turbulent past who throws himself down those roads to avenge the death of his partner.

Although we miss Liam Neeson, it’s another one of those rampant violence of a good man killing a lot of bad guys. The only possible novelties are the different modalities in which he is loading them (it is worthy of a hard-working writer of ‘The Simpsons’ to find original deaths at this point). But what is truly criminal is that of established actors staining their careers with these things. I understand that the retirement age must be pushed back, and that Escrivá will be happy, but making them work on these films is intolerable cruelty.

Let’s clean it up a bit with a Mexican romantic comedy with no other pretension than to make people laugh with some intelligence (and without mariachis). Verónica Echegui acts as a translator for an English author who has only been successful in the Aztec country, and that is thanks to the bawdy version that the girl has made of her book. Cultural misunderstandings and clashes between two very different personalities give rise to a plot that we all know how it will end. Valentine’s commerciality without an alibi that will make you have a good time,

Now we are going to get exquisite with a period drama. A biography of the nineteenth-century writer Emily Brontë, the author of ‘Wuthering Heights’, phenomenally interpreted by Emma Mackey, the best actress in the ‘Sex education’ series, who here shows that it was no coincidence that she was. She sustains the film, perfectly reflecting the complex personality of this writer, her emotions, dreams and ambitions. Creation as torment, as an unavoidable fate told from the best of British classicisms.

At FICC last year they brought us the Iranian ‘Holy Spider: sacred spider’, about the investigation carried out by a journalist in a holy city of Islam on the murder of prostitutes. As was the case in the USSR in ‘Citizen X’ (1995), which denied the existence of psychopaths in the communist paradise, here theocracy almost applauds a bloodthirsty purifier of sinners. One of the best jobs of last year.

Off-camera, the Golden Globes have returned with the splendor of yesteryear, although they are still the closest thing to the camel race at the fair, when no one thought there would be redemption anymore (Prince Harry, don’t lose hope). Spielberg began an awards season that will be very good for him with that film, which is almost his cinematographic testament, entitled ‘The Fabelmans’. I’m particularly pleased with the award for an underrated actress named Jennifer Coolidge, who made the best speech of the night.

Have a movie week.

‘Poker face’, Russell Crowe’s ace