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March 19, 2009

Rudo y Cursi (2009 Tribeca Film Festival)

RC_Sony Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna fruitfully reunite for the first time since their break-out film "Y tu mama tambien" thrilled audiences in 2001. Writer/director Carlos Cuaron (screenwriter on "Y tu mama") tells the story of rival Mexican step-brothers Beto (Luna) and Tato (Bernal) who get a golden opportunity to leave behind their impoverished lives as fruit-pickers when Batuta (Guillermo Francella), a soccer agent, discovers their skills and brings them into the fast paced world of pro soccer. Tato dreams only of achieving fame as a singer in spite of his lack of ability--he earns the undesirable nickname Cursi (Corny), while the more serious Beto, nicknamed Rudo ("rough"), falls prey to gambling leaches out to steal his soccer fortune. Bernal and Luna cherish their roles with palpable delight and play off one another with an authentic chemistry that is infectious. Both actors bring their A-game to the film, and the result is a pure delight. As prosaic as the story seems on the surface, there's plenty of heartfelt subtext in every frame.
Not Rated. 103 mins. (A-) (Four Stars)


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