The 2019 Moro Spanish Film Festival features 32 films from Spain and Latin America, including special presentations, documentaries, and a spotlight on female directors. I managed to get a sneak peek at two movies and can report that both of them were outstanding. Everyone should see Champions. If the rest of the festival is this good you won’t be seeing me for a while.
Marco Montes (Javier Gutiérrez) is the assistant coach for a Spanish basketball team, He is ambitious, arrogant and feels that he’s not getting listened to. At one game he argues with the head coach and consequently gets thrown off the court. After a few drinks he drives home and gets pulled over by the police. His evening is summed up by the fact that as he pulls over he goes straight into the back of a police car. Rather than paying a fine his arrogance at court sees him given community service … working with an amateur basketball team. Sounds too easy right? That’s what he thought until he is introduced to the team members, each with varying mental disabilities.
Champions is a delicious movie that will leave you literally in tears of laughter and joy. Think a mentally challenged Full Monty.
At first I was a little uneasy about laughing in case I was laughing at disability, however as the movie moved on, it was clear I was laughing with them. The actors are an absolute delight.
One of the quotes which will stay with me is “Play to win not to humiliate“.
The heart stopping ending is outstanding and something everyone should see. It’s easy to see why this movie smashed the Spanish box office records.
I believe this is a very important movie as it shows how we underestimate people with mental challenges. It also touches on issues of trust, overcoming your fears and the joy of life.
Crime Wave is a delicious twisting, turning, comedy thriller that starts in a confessional and works backwards.
Leyre (Verdú) is a well-to-do woman who has always had an easy life of privilege. Things change however when her teenage son kills her ex-husband in a senseless fit of rage. Completely out of her depth and desperate to protect her only son, Leyre tries a series of outlandish methods to conceal the crime from the police. Things really start to unravel when her sick mother and a lovesick friend of her son’s decide to lend their helping hand. The result is an hilarious series of catastrophic events.
4 stars. Definitely worth seeing. Be warned there’s a high body count.
The festival runs from April 24 to May 15 at Palace Cinema Paradiso.