The Distinguished Citizen

2016

Comedy / Drama

47
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 8,082

Synopsis


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May 28, 2020

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1.06 GB
1280*720
Spanish 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
118 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.17 GB
1920×1080
Spanish 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
118 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rubenm 8 / 10 / 10

Delightful black comedy

Black comedies are a difficult movie genre. They have to get the tone exactly right, otherwise they are either not funny enough or too much over the top. In this respect, 'El ciudadano ilustre' is perfect. It's understated enough to be subtle, and surreal enough to make you laugh. It has this quality in common with that other Argentinian surprise from three years ago, 'Relatos Salvajes'. 'El ciudadano ilustre' is about a Nobel-prize winning author living in Spain, who decides to accept an invitation to become honorary citizen of his hometown, a sleepy backwater in the south of Argentina in which all of his novels are set. At first, it is unclear why he decides to accept this invitation, and only in the final minutes of the film this question is more or less answered. This nice twist at the end is the cherry on the cake. The author, used to being admired and praised everywhere he goes, has to adapt to the less sophisticated way of life in his hometown. Already during the drive from the airport, he is in for a surprise. The car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and he is forced to tear his latest novel apart in order to use the pages for lighting a camp fire. It's symbolic for the lack of respect the local people have for his novels. Some of them are not extremely enthusiastic about the way their town is portrayed. His visit starts a series of unexpected events, in which art, sex, violence and local politics play a part. But the film's bizarre story line is not its only quality. Above all, it's the way the local community is shown. In one small scene, the author is sitting on a street bench when an old man appears from a nearby house to bring him a cup of the Argentinian drink 'mate'. He drinks in silence, returns the cup to the man, who re-enters the house. End of scene. 'El ciudadano ilustre' is a wonderful film, highly recommended for anyone who likes understated humor and surreal situations.

Reviewed by lasttimeisaw 9 / 10 / 10

a dangerous homecoming

Argentinian director duo Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn's fourth feature, a satirical dark comedy premiered in Venice's main competition this year, THE DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN is simply riveting, uncompromising and entertaining to the hilt. Our protagonist is a laureate of Nobel Prize in Literature, the fictional Argentinian writer Daniel Mantovani (Martínez), the movie opens with him accepting the award in the regal ceremony, and his forthright but true-to-self acceptance speech politely jeers at the fact that he is not much a fan of monarchy and dreads that it will portend the waning of his creativity, which unfortunately transpires to be true. Five years later, still stuck in the writer's block after being crowned the top honor, Daniel, who lives as an expatriate most of his life, eyes an invitation from his hometown, Salas, a small village in Argentina, among his swamped schedule, he is invited to accept "The Distinguished Citizen" title of the town, a place where he hasn't returned over 40 years, not even for his father's funeral. Why now is the right time to go? The more practical motive is to look for inspiration so that he can bring an end to the maddening dry spell, and Salas has never failed to proffer him that, most of his distinguished works benefit from his past experiences in that dreadful town. Daniel intends to go there alone incognito, which ends in vain right after embarking on the plane, upon arrival, a familiar taste of backwater desultoriness which has eluded him for too long, generates wry and side- splitting laughter, and the effect doesn't ameliorated by the casual-dressing mayor (Vincente) and the ensuing celebration of a returning national treasure among close-knit townsfolk. Daniel reunites with his old-time friend Antonio (Brieva) and Irene (Frigerio), the girlfriend he left four decades ago, now they are married and have a daughter Julia (Chavanne, who will try anything to get out of the jerkwater milieu, even if she has to sleep with an older man who once was her mother's old flame), but discord starts to disrupt his triumphant homecoming, out of their excessive pride of the town, some get peeved for Daniel's negative portrayal of the characters in his books, which are based on real-life denizens of Salas; bureaucratic interference, small-minded bigotry, sex-ensnarement all emerge onto the surface and wrong-foot his tranquil sojourn, Daniel will also dishearteningly find out that Salas hasn't progressed in all these years, to a point where his own safety will be hung by a thread when jealousy, hostility, idiocy and rancor are all hiked up, can the distinguished citizen dodge the bullet in the highly suspenseful finale? A debt he must pay to his birthplace, the main wellspring of his intellectual works. Duprat-Cohn duo dexterously basks in Daniel's self-seeking mare's nest which is deliciously peppered with gallows humor, poker-face eccentricity and delightful plot-twists. Their leading actor Oscar Martínez, fully embodies and balances Daniel's academic finesse, provoked exasperation and emotional ambivalence, unsurprisingly and deservingly bags the Volpi Cup for BEST ACTOR in Venice '73. Dady Brieva dazzles in his Manichaean contrasts of chumminess and insidiousness, not to mention his bizarre dance movements, spontaneously hysterical and cringe-inducing, and Manuel Vicente's smooth persona as the easy-going mayor is wonderfully approachable and diverting, whereas Andrea Frigerio's mellow former lover is the only beacon signals a faint hope and nostalgia, but ineffectually dims in the context of the silly but dangerous game played among provincially macho men. No one can choose his or her birthplace where most of us spend our formative years, and once fled, we'd better not go back, because there is always some past bogeyman trying to lure you back, hunt you down and tear you apart, that is what called "homesick entrapment", the bond can not be severed, but should be buried in a safe place in our memory, only occasionally pops up to remind us who we are.

Reviewed by bicgus1 9 / 10 / 10

Masterpiece.

For starters, let me express that all the events that take place in this film can happen in real life, this fact being very welcome and of course, unusual. Not short of this, the genre explored here is indeed scarce. This film invades the spectator with a feeling of uneasiness very difficult to describe by minute five. And far from relieving you from this uncanny feeling, it builds up more and more and more and more. By the hour, I just had to stop and switch my TV to a stupid channel in order to go to bed peacefully. But don't misunderstand me: if you see my reviews you'll find I'm a tough critic of unnecessary violence and gore. What you have here is a mounting tension like when you see huge amounts of snow in the mountain ladder and you know a huge avalanche is due. Some other reviewers (of this same film) call this "predictable"; in my opinion they are completely mistaken. The avalanche is due, but you just don't know when and what it'll do. The nearest comparison I have at hand is a very old film starring Dustin Hoffman "The Straw Dogs", but it's just a poor comparison: "The Distinguished Citizen" is by far better and suspenseful. I watched the (almost) remaining half the next day and it just got better. Be warned, this film is better served for those who are emotionally sensitive: an idiot will just not notice that everything that goes on in this film is terribly wrong! I will end up saying that this is a class A film that deserves a place in the nominees for best foreign language films if not the Oscar. Highly recommended.

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