The Distinguished Citizen
What could be better than winning the Nobel Prize for Literature? For Barcelona novelist Daniel Mantovani (Oscar Martínez, Wild Tales SFF15, Paulina SFF16) everything, as it turns out. To become part of the establishment and someone whose work everyone can agree on, signals, for him, the end of his career. Opening with his hilariously ungracious speech as he accepts the award in Stockholm (“This canonization is fatal,” he announces to the gathered dignitaries) the film jumps forward five years where we find the taciturn author turning down every award that comes his way.
But when a curious offer appears, to accept the “Distinguished Citizen” award from the small Argentinian backwater of Salas, Mantovani’s birthplace (and the inspiration for much of his fiction), the writer senses a chance to reconnect with his roots and maybe even find inspiration in a town he hasn’t stepped foot in for over 40 years. The Distinguished Citizen is a deliciously dark and sharp comedy as this big-time writer is feted by – and confronted with – the people and places that have informed his life’s work. Oscar Martínez is masterful in his Venice Film Festival award-winning role.
A sophisticated and well-done farce.