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(Spanish with English subtitles) Joan, an alcoholic actress about to make her debut as a leading actress in a major theatrical play, realizes that her disintegrating marriage and feelings for her husband Roman, a young and renowed film director, lies somewhere between love and irrational hate. Written by
As the title makes obvious and the movie acknowledges, "Antes del Estreno," Before Opening Night, is based on, or more precisely inspired by John Cassavetes' Opening Night (1977).
Juana Garner is an alcoholic actress married to a movie director, Román Costa and the movie deals with the four days previous to Juana's opening night in a protagonic role in the Teatro San Martín, a theater complex in the center of Buenos Aires (to play in the San Martín is the apex of theatrical prestige in Argentina). In the course of these four days we witness Juana's mounting doubts and her interaction with Román, who seems to be at a creative impasse. They alternately support each other, cut the ground under each other's feet, or attempt (somewhat pathetically) to stray outside their relation. They only interact with other people in the theater/movie world who seem to share similar neuroses, disloyalties and frustrations.
Director Santiago Giralt does not try to follow Cassavetes' script; in fact there are few common points. There are, however, similarities in style, for instance the dialogue with a feeling of improvisation and actors' input, the nervous camera movements and the abundance of close-ups. One even feels that Erica Rivas (playing Juana) is in too many scenes, as Gena Rowlands in many Cassavetes movies.
Good acting by all concerned and fluid cinematography. The script has some slow stretches but interest doesn't flag. A movie worth watching.
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