"A surprising, challenging, engrossing film, TONY MANERO marks Pablo Larraín as a serious talent."
-Todd Brown, Twitch Film
"Holding it all together is an unnerving lead performance by Alfredo Castro, who looks nothing like Travolta, and a lot like Al Pacino marinaded in embalming fluid. I can recall few screen presences as off-puttingly ratty, but [Castro's] opaque, tight-lipped sullenness is hideously, inscrutably magnetic."
-Johnathoan Romney, The Independent
4th of July weekend usually means huge 100 million dollar CGEye-sores that star Will Smith. Luckily, we dodged the Big Willie bullet this year, but there are still plenty of no-expense-spared behemoths roaming the theaters to satiate even the most spray-on of appetites. But I'd like to suggest an altogether different way to celebrate America this year.
With an independent film from Chile.
The title of Pablo Larrain's darkly comic psycho-thriller references John Travolta's disco-sick lead from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, and you can not get any more American than that. In the hierarchy of Americana, it goes Tony Manero, bald eagles, 0% financing, apple pie and then that scene in RETURN OF THE JEDI when the speeder bikes are going through trees (sorry baseball). The fact that our culture has spread so far as Santiago to be used as allegory for a foreign sociopolitical climate should be worn on all of us like a badge of goddamned pride. I may be reaching, probably am, but just because this one doesn't have robots doesn't mean it should be sloughed off as un-American, okay McCarthy? At the very least, we should celebrate the free society we live in where great films from around the globe are so readily available for our enjoyment.
TONY MANERO plays July 1st, 5th & 6th at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. To read more about it and to get tickets, click here.
Happy 4th of July!