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Rudo y Cursi


Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Carlos Cuarón 
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Guillermo Francella  
An image from Rudo y Cursi

Mexican half-brothers Beto (Luna) and Tato (Bernal) live with their extended family on a banana plantation in rural Mexico. A soccer talent scout comes their way one day, and Beto gets the chance to live his dream of being a professional star. Tato is less sure, but eventually the scout signs each of them for rival Mexico City football teams. The brothers use their new-found stardom to fuel their passions, gambling and singing respectively, and earn their nicknames - Rudo (Rough) and Cursi (Corny). Their increasing fame fuels their sibling rivalry, and the price of fame begins to tell on both of them.

Bernal and Luna have a fantastic on-screen chemistry - they really could be squabbling brothers - and their roles are almost a continuation from the high-school best friends they played in Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien, another celebrated Mexican film. The film is produced by the dream team of Mexican cinema, Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men), Alejandro Gonzalez Innarritu (Babel) and Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), and the pedigree of Rudo Y Cursi really shows. The film is beautifully shot, captivating and involving.

It has been argued that modern Mexican cinema is very urban-centric, and that rural Mexicans are portrayed as little more than stupid 'hicks'. While this is not entirely untrue of Rudo Y Curso, the depiction of the large extended family and the rivalry of the brothers is painfully touching, and the film as a whole is a very satisfying and enjoyable piece of cinema.

Marcus Kelly

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Autumn Term (35mm)