Daniel Blake Penelope Cruz Spain city Venice film Citi Provident Daniel Blake Penelope Cruz Spain city Venice

Int’l Critics Line: Penelope Cruz In ‘On The Fringe’

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Falling somewhere between Ken Loach’s most recent films about poverty (Sorry, We Missed You; I, Daniel Blake) and a telenovela, On the Fringe, Juan Diego Botto’s debut as a director sets out to give a snapshot of Spain’s eviction crisis.

An end-title tells us that around a hundred households are evicted every day in Spain, but the story could be told in any city where jobs are scarce and wages are falling – in other words, almost anywhere.

Botto aims to give the crisis a human face – or, more exactly, human faces – by relating one day in the lives of several families whose lives are connected, whether they know it or not, by their imminent homelessness.

It is overwrought, but certainly well-meaning. The film premiered in Venice’s Horizons section and also played San Sebastián.Penelope Cruz, both the marquee name on this project and a producer, is transformed as scruffy mother and supermarket shelf-stacker Azucena.

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