Films in and out of Competition
The schedule for the 20th edition of the Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival, one of the most important festivals dedicated to comedy designed and directed by Ezio Greggio, has just been unveiled and will be screening on April 24 to 29, 2023. This year again, the festival will take place entirely in the prestigious headquarters of the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, where there will be screenings and meetings with the most beloved protagonists of international, Italian and French cinema.
The event, organized in collaboration with EFG Bank (Monaco), since its inception has been under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and the Italian Embassy. Once again this year, Radio Monte Carlo is the official radio station of the Festival.
The festival will culminate with the usual Gala Evening and the Awards Ceremony on Saturday 29 April.
Fastening your seat belts: Monsters, love stories and unknown passengers. The Tango begins!
If life were a ball it would undoubtedly be a tango: exciting, melancholy, languorous and together powerful, sweet and captivating. A music with which you can travel alone but even more beautiful if you move step by step in good company. The films in competition and out of competition of this edition of the Monte-Carlo Film Festival de la Comédie have the same rhythm of this dance. Eleven comedies that come from all over the world, from Argentina Europe and the United States. This year’s leitmotif is the road movie that characterizes the films selected to continue to talk about families who cross the world to find each other and people who leave their comfort zone to rediscover themselves.
During a dinner with friends while testing their limits, one can imagine a trip or the adventure of an elderly person who only dreams of his Escort (car). The journey of two twins with parallel lives who go in search of the father who had abandoned him when they were children. An investigation is also a journey: between parody and suspense, a young French detective embarks on the search for a serial killer.
Spending a weekend at a summer camp becomes an opportunity for a couple to take a journey between their feelings and a target to be accepted by other pairs of parents. Traveling is imagining a life without bullies for a little boy in the multi-ethnic heart of Rome, but it is also a walk among feelings that often confront us with small everyday choices, when we find ourselves saying things it would be better to keep quiet.
In a world dominated by the shared economy in which we live, it is normal that we divide the expenses of a trip beyond the emotions. The monstrosities of travels and family celebrations are typical: four brothers in the beach house manage to kill for heredity and two families of different natures meet in a supernatural union. A rickety van, the corpse of a friend in the trunk and the memories of a life spent to the rhythm of tango told by two elderly people on a trip to Argentina.
The comedies in this selection aim to celebrate the better part of life, even when loving can lead to crazy or odious things. A set of films to forget the shadows of the past and continue to dream.
A star studded jury
Giancarlo Giannini, the internationally acclaimed actor, voice actor, screenwriter and director, who recently received the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Oscar nominee for ‘Pasqualino Settebellezze’, ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Quantum of Solace’) , will preside over the jury of the 20th edition of the Monte Carlo Film Festival de la Comédie, which will take place from April 24 to 29 in the Principality of Monaco.
Next to Giannini, Richard Anconina (‘La verité si je mens’, ‘Itinerary of a spoiled child’), international star Nathalie Poza, (Goya Award as best actress for ‘No sé decir adiós’ and for ‘La Boda de Rosa, Rifkin’s Festival’) and Neri Marcorè, eclectic actor, comedian, singer and voice actor (‘Quando’, Nastro d’Argento for ‘Il Cuore Altrove’, ‘La seconda notte di nozze’, ‘Smetto quando voglio’).
Films in Competition
38°5 Quai Des Orfèvres
Directed by Benjamin Lehrer (France, 2022, 84’) – April 25 at 16:00
In his feature debut, Lehrer is directing 38°5 Quai Des Orfèvres, an extravagant detective comedy that falls squarely within the tradition of cult parody comedies of Abrahams and Zucker. By skillfully using and changing all the codes and ingredients of the great thrillers and thrillers, the director has fun with the audience, involving them in the investigation of a particular serial killer. The director constantly surprises the audience in an irresistible game of mirrors. Grand Prize at the Alpe d’Huez Festival, the film will be released in French theaters in June.
Daniel’s gotta die
Directed by Jeremy LaLonde (Canada, Cayman Islands 2022, 91’) – April 25 at 2:00
In this film, Lalonde places rock legend Iggy Pop in a hospital bed as Edward Powell, a dying billionaire. A cameo that will create the history of this comedy. When he dies, the man leaves a huge legacy to his four children: Mia (Mary Lynn Rajskub), the cynical and despotic, Victor, the cocaine addict, Jessica, the influencer posing as a philanthropist, and Daniel, the puppy of home, eternal good-hearted optimist.
By the will of the late father, the four sons are forced to spend a weekend together, a necessary condition to have money and goods. Bob Saget in his last interpretation, before his untimely death, masterfully plays the role of the right arm charged by the tycoon to watch over the family and enforce his last wishes.
Daniel sees it as an opportunity to get closer to the family, while for the others, the weekend is a good time to eliminate him and collect his share of the inheritance.A dysfunctional family like never before, between bizarre poisoning attempts, corpses and derailed plans. A comedy between laughs, dark and irreverent, with an incredible cast that will certainly allow the viewer to positively reassess their family.
Fædre og Mødre (Fathers and Mothers)
Directed by Paprika Steen (Denmark, 2021, 96’) – April 26 at 11:00
A box office revelation on its first weekend of release in Denmark, this ensemble comedy from director and actress Paprika Steen tells the fun and bittersweet adventures of a group of parents confronting the natural and innocent desire to raise children in the best way. But how far can we go to ensure them the best education and a perfect future?
Between obsessions and exaggerations, the film is almost an impressionist portrait in the style of Luncheon on the Grass (Édouard Manet). The film will portray a generation of mothers and fathers ready to do anything to integrate their children, and to integrate themselves among the parents of their children’s classmates. Some of the biggest stars of Danish cinema are part of the cast: Amanda Collin (The Bastard, A Horrible Woman), Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Riders of Justice), Maria Rossing (Carmen Curlers), Lisa Loven Kongsli (Force Majeure), Lars Brygmann (Riders of Justice), Mikael Birkkjær (Borgen) and Rasmus Bjerg (Wild Men).
Mielensäpahoittaja Eskorttia etsimässä (The Grump: In Search of An Escort) directed by Mika Kaurismäki (Finland, Germany, 2022, 109’) – April 26 at 16:00
Third installment of “The Grump” series, directed by Mika Kaurismaki (Aki’s older brother who already has 40 films and documentaries to his credit), this film tells the story of an elderly and stubborn Finnish farmer. The protagonist struggles with finding an Escort car. But all this promotes misunderstandings that will involve our hero.
The Escort we are talking about is a vintage car absolutely identical to the one he was forced to eliminate. His two sons do not understand his obsession. However, our hero will go as far as Germany, to find one of the few remaining models. Here, he will be forced to spend time with Tarmo, his older brother, from whom he had moved away several years earlier. Circumstances will lead them to face a long road trip. The two brothers will grow closer as they heal decades-old wounds. A road movie that is a hymn to reconciliation and forgiveness.
Historias para no contar (Stories Not to Be Told)
Directed by Cesc Gay (Spain, 2022, 100’) – April 26 at 20:00
After Sentimental, prize for the best film at Monte-Carlo in 2021, Cesc Gay returns by giving his incomparable touch through a biting satire on the customs and idiosyncrasies of contemporary society. An ensemble comedy, a collage of five stories punctuated with piquant dialogues and played by the greatest talents of contemporary Spanish cinema: Chino Darín (family tradition of the famous Ricardo), Anna Castillo, Javier Rey, Antonio de la Torre, Maribel Verdú, Brays Efe, Quim Gutiérrez, José Coronado, María León and Álex Brendemühl.
Five short stories, a collection of exemplary characters, representing the different shades of human nature, involved in such kind of tragic situations in which everyone is unfortunately involved at least once in life: unexpectedly meeting a person, undergoing a public humiliation, making an absurd decision or confessing something that would have been better to remain silent. A sarcastic (and at the same time empathetic) ode to the inability of human beings to govern their emotions and fail to stop the cascade of words, even when it would be the only sensible thing to do.
Luxembourg, Directed by Antonio Lukich (Ukraine, 2022, 105‘) – April 27 at 11:00
The second film by Ukrainian director Antonio Lukich, presented last September in Venice and Toronto, focuses on the theme of the family and the difficulties of keeping it together. The journey, real and in the memories of the two protagonists, shows their long road of life. Ukrainian rappers Amil Nasirov and Ramil Nasirov play the roles of two twin brothers, as physically identical as they are different in character: one a fighter and always in trouble, the other a father and an excellent policeman.
The two will have to reunite against their will to join their dying father in Luxembourg, who had abandoned them when they were children. The man was known and idolized as a mythical gangster from another era by one of the two and considered an ungrateful rascal by the other. Melancholy and laughter come together in a unique way in this bittersweet comedy about what we miss in life and any possible discovery. The film tells the daily life of contemporary Ukraine which allows us to forget the war scenario that we have been seeing for more than a year in this country.
El Test (The Te$t) directed by Dani De La Orden (Spain, 2022, 105’) – April 27 at 16:00
Dani de la Orden, young master of comedy Made in Spain, returns for the third consecutive year in competition in Monte-Carlo. This year with a film based on the eponymous play by Jordi Vallejo, who also wrote the screenplay. The film stars Miren Ibarguren (winner of the best actress award at Monte-Carlo in 2022 with Mamá o Papá), Carlos Santos, Alberto San Juan and Blanca Suárez, who have already starred in La piel que habito by Almodóvar.
Suárez is an advanced psychologist who in her lectures reveals the secret to discovering the two categories of people that exist in the world, namely the winners and the losers. To do this, she uses a risky question: “Would you rather receive 100,000 euros immediately or wait ten years to get a million?” Her boyfriend Toni (San Juan) is a successful entrepreneur and full of money. His longtime friends Paula (Ibarguren) and Héctor (Santos) are a couple with a daughter to feed, struggling to make ends meet. When Toni signs a check for 100,000 euros and entrusts it to Paula, the certainties of the couple are called into question and what seemed to be a quiet reunion between friends turns into a night full of unexplained desires and secrets that lead to the inexorable collapse. of their certainties.
Empieza el Baile (Let the Dance Begin)
directed by Marina Seresesky (Argentina, Spain, 2022, 99’) – April 27 at 20:00
Carlos (Dario Grandinetti) and Margherita (Mercedes Morán) were the most famous tango dancing couple of their time. Today, Carlos has created a new life in Madrid with his family, while Margherita and Pichuquito – an inseparable friend with whom he has shared many tours – still live in Buenos Aires but in poverty, without regaining the splendor of yesteryear.
The two friends meet during a trip to a remote village in Argentina. They will thus find themselves looking for answers to their life between infinite skies, sun and music. A road movie of the soul full of emotion and smiles that encourages our protagonists to face their past.
Films Out Competition
Grosso guaio all’Esquilino – La leggenda del Kung Fu (Kung Fu Italian Style) directed by YouNuts! (Italy, 2023, 90′). Festival opening film April 24 at 20:00
The film, shot by Rome duo YouNuts! (stage name for Antonio Usbergo and Niccolò Celaia), centers around David, a 13-year-old geek who lives in the heart of the Italian capital’s Esquiline district with his mother Asia (Carolina Crescentini). David spends his days with his friend Yang, as he constantly tries to escape school bully Nadir and win the heart of Yasmin, his dream love. Passionate about martial arts films, he tries to regain his self-confidence when he meets Martino (Lillo Petrolo), a penniless B-Movie actor who pretends to be the best Kung Fu connoisseur in order to survive.
A comedy of good feelings, a local Karate Kid set in Piazza Vittorio, Rome. We laugh out loud for the quotes and references to 80s martial arts cinema as well as for the irresistible interpretation of Lillo and the whole troupe. Notably, Carolina Crescentini as Davide’s mother and Giorgio Colangeli as Grandmaster Shifu.
El Cuarto pasajero (Four’s a Crowd)
directed by Álex de la Iglesia (Spain, 2022, 99’) – April 28 at 4 p.m.
Alex de la Iglesia is among the most famous contemporary Spanish directors in the world, author of incredible comedies and master of suspense with the frequent use of irony and the absurd, the strengths of his cinema.
His new film, co-written with screenwriter and long-time professional partner Jorge Guerricaechevarría, is a romantic and wild comedy. Julian is a 50-year-old divorced man who will use an app to carpool with strangers and split travel costs.
Among them, Lorena, a young woman he fell in love with during their travels. As he is about to confess his feelings to her, they find themselves accompanied by a fourth passenger who turns out to be the most annoying person ever. Events are turned upside down by this uncomfortable presence. The protagonists (Blanca Suarez in the role of Lorena and Alberto San Juan in the role of Julian, who also starred together in El Test directed by Dani De La Orden) fall in this journey and in life as in a race against time . A daring comedy full of twists, where nothing is as it seems.
Un matrimonio mostruoso (A Freaking Wedding), directed by Volfango De Biasi (Italy, 2023, 100’) – April 28 at 20:00
Thex’ return of the great parody (between fantasy and grotesque) in the company of the protagonists of “Una Famiglia Mostruosa” (A Monstrous Family) who return on the occasion of a wedding that – perhaps – ‘non s’ha da fare ‘ (not to be celebrated) This time, Vladimir (Massimo Ghini) and Brunilde (Paola Minaccioni) grapple with the disappearance of Nando, the head of the Cornicioni clan’s family, eliminated with a quick-setting concrete shower.
The sad event brought together the human spirit family of Luna (Emanuela Rei), daughter of Nando, and the ‘monstrous’ family of her husband Adalberto (Cristiano Caccamo).Men, vampires, witches, werewolves and ghosts will have to face … a monstrous marriage.
The screenings take place in the Salle Camille Blanc of the Grimaldi Forum, admission for the public is free and subject to availability. Infoline +377 99993000.
I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ’em later. Mitch Hedberg