EVERY­BODY KNOWS Javier Bar­dem and Pené­lope Cruz team up with an Os­car-win­ner…

Total Film - - Dialogue - JM

De­spite hav­ing di­rected two movies, A Sep­a­ra­tion and The Sales­man, awarded Os­cars for Best For­eign Lan­guage Film, Ira­nian film­maker As­ghar Farhadi has yet to be turned by Tin­sel­town. But it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore movie stars came knock­ing, and his lat­est film, Every­body Knows, stars hus­band and wife Javier Bar­dem and Pené­lope Cruz in a fa­mil­ial drama as Span­ish as pin­chos and paella.

“I met Javier Bar­dem in Los An­ge­les many years ago and a few years later I met Pené­lope in Madrid,” ex­plains the 46-year-old Farhadi, who prepped for sev­eral years, mov­ing to Spain and hir­ing a tu­tor to learn the lan­guage and im­merse him­self in the cul­ture. “Javier and Pené­lope helped me, much more than ac­tors usu­ally do, in the ac­tual mak­ing of the film. They were real friends and pro­vided me with staunch sup­port.”

With Cruz’s char­ac­ter Laura re­turn­ing from mar­riage and moth­er­hood in Ar­gentina to at­tend the wed­ding of her younger sis­ter, the film kicks into gear when a fam­ily mem­ber is kid­napped and there is a ran­som to be paid. “It’s a means to deal with top­ics that I be­lieve are very im­por­tant as a per­son,” says Farhadi. “If I found my­self on the horns of such a dilemma, what would I have done? What choice would I have made?”

It’s not the first time Farhadi has worked abroad; The Past saw him di­rect Bérénice Bejo in France. But with mar­ried leads Cruz and Bar­dem, who plays a lo­cal vint­ner and for­mer flame to Laura, it made for a very in­trigu­ing Ibe­rian cock­tail. “The film is to­tally Span­ish, ob­vi­ously,” says Farhadi. “How­ever, be­yond a shadow of a doubt, there is a very Ira­nian soul to the film.”

Shoot­ing in Tor­re­la­guna, north of Madrid, Farhadi had one thing in mind as he con­structed a melo­drama deal­ing with money, moral­ity and mar­riage. “I think films we love that stay with us are films which de­pict char­ac­ters who you want to stay with be­yond the end of the film.

That is the spirit in which I did this film.”


SpaN­ISH mYS­tERY Bár­bara Len­nie’s Bea with Javier Bar­dem’s Paco, one-time lover of Pené­lope Cruz’s home­ward-bound Laura (be­low).

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