© Pandora Filmverleih

Uruguay/Argentina/Germany/Spain 2004

Opening 5 May 2005

Directed by: Juan Pablo Rebella
Writing credits: Gonzalo Delgado, Juan Pablo Rebella, Pablo Stoll
Principal actors: Jorge Bolani, Daniel Hendler, Ana Katz, Mirella Pascual, Andrés Pazos

Every morning Jacobo goes to his messy, outmoded stocking factory in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. His assistant Marta (Mirella Pascual) is already there, waiting for him to unlock the door. She does the bookkeeping, makes the coffee, directs the two female employees about their tasks and is the heart of the company. He helplessly struggles to fix a bookshelf. Life changes when his cosmopolitan brother Hermann visits for a delayed Jewish memorial service for their deceased mother. In anticipation of Hermann’s visit, Jacobo asks Marta to pretend to be his wife and move into his apartment. Hermann is full of unsolicited suggestions on modernizing the stocking production. Perhaps Jocobo wishes to deflate any suggestions on his marital happiness and therefore needs a temporary proxy wife. Hermann, of course, has a wife, children and a flourishing business back home in Brazil. After the ceremony, Hermann takes the two of them to the seaside for a weekend vacation. The stiff sea air does nothing for Jacobo’s morose demeanor, but Marta perks up and enjoys nice clothes, fine dining, swimming, and conversation. She observes the tenderness of a honeymooning couple (the husband is played by Daniel Hendler, who won best actor for El Abrazo Partido last year at the Berlinale). Upon their return to the city, Jacobo is due for a rude surprise. “Whisky” is the word that people say in order to smile when being photographed. The story unrolls slowly as you become drawn into the film to care about the two brothers and Marta. For this film, directors Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2004 Cannes film festival. (Becky Tan)

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