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EL HIJO DE LA NOVIA (2001,ARG)

Argentina’s Juan Jose Campanella brought his country the second and so far the last Oscar for the best film outside the English-speaking world. It is about the dark thriller “El secreto de sus ojos”, a masterpiece about a brutal murder case that haunts the main protagonist even a quarter of a century later. The main protagonist was then played by Campanella’s best friend and probably the most famous Argentinian rubber Ricardo Darin, and he is also in the main role of this romantic comedy drama that also brought Argentina an Oscar nomination.

Both thematically and stylistically, “El hijo de la novia” or “Son of the Bride” is a completely different film from “Secrets in Their Eyes”. It is a warm and complex, perhaps a little sugary, but extremely cute and likable family drama in which Ricardo Darin is the owner of a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Rafael Belvedere. He will begin to question his life decisions and lifestyle after he suffers a heart attack at the age of 42. Before that, we will learn that his mother Norma (Norma Aleandro) suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and while the son obviously cannot look at her lost like that and has not visited her for a year, his father Nino (Héctor Alterio) visits her every day.

Rafael is also under stress because of the restaurant because he works day and night, he is constantly being chased by investors who would buy the place that his parents started, and after the divorce, he is in a relationship with the much younger Naty (Natalia Verbeke), but he is not quite ready to commit. to some serious relationship. Everything will change when a heart attack ends all his suffering, and along with an attempt to change his life and habits, Rafael will be completely surprised by a fixed idea that will come to his father’s mind. Old Nino will decide to remarry his completely demented wife and Rafael’s mother since they have never been married in church, and this has always been her wish.

As usual, Darin is excellent, this time as a man who is going through a serious mid-life crisis and is trying to reassess his place and his role in the family, at work and in society in general. His childhood friend Juan Carlos (Eduardo Blanco), who will suddenly appear, will play an important role. In “Son of the Bride”, Campanella managed to finely balance emotionality, poignancy and even wit, and in addition to being nominated for an Oscar, this film also completely triumphed in the selection for the best Argentine film of the year. Out of 12 nominations, he grabbed eight awards, among them the most important ones for film, direction, screenplay and actor’s performance, with Darin winning the third consecutive (out of a record five) award for the best Argentine actor.

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