Oscar nominees Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas transform into film industry caricatures for the latest comedy from Argentinian directing duo Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn, “Official Competition.” Check out the outrageous trailer for the film below.
“Official Competition” stars Cruz as a renowned filmmaker hired by a billionaire entrepreneur (José Luis Goméz) to create the movie of the century. Banderas is the Hollywood heartthrob set to star in the fictional feature, along with a radical theater actor played by Oscar Martinez. The legendary nemeses sling jabs at one another over who is a bigger sellout for money, all while Cruz is trying to teach them both how to really act. The stars undergo a series of increasingly eccentric tasks that force them to confront not only each other but their own Hollywood legacies. The film hits theaters June 17.
“Official Competition” premiered at the 2021 Venice Film Festival, five years after Duprat and Cohn’s award-winning feature “The Distinguished Citizen” made waves at the same festival. Martinez also starred in the film and won the festival’s top acting prize, the Cuppa Volpi.
IndieWire praised Spanish-language “Official Competition” for capturing the same hilarity as “Distinguished Citizen.”
“‘Official Competition’ is essentially a series of light sketches that poke warm-hearted fun at celebrity pretensions and insecurities,” critic Nick Barber wrote. “The film deserves to bring Duprat and Mariano Cohn to a wider audience. Seeing Cruz and Banderas show off their comedic chops is definitely a pleasure, and the farcical final scenes will leave viewers on a high.”
Barber added that the “comic subtlety” is thanks to Cruz and Banderas’ innate ability to “be hilarious with a narrowed eye or a puzzled frown.” The film marks Cruz and Banderas’ first prominent film team-up, following a brief scene together in Pedro Almodóvar’s “I’m So Excited.” Cruz also formerly played Banderas’ mother in childhood flashbacks for “Pain and Glory.”
The characters featured in “Official Competition” also wear the perfect costumes and makeup, with IndieWire writing that Cruz “looks like the cover of a disco album” with her frizzed-out hair and large earrings.
“Official Competition” will be released in theaters on June 17.