Truman (5 stars)

Truman is the dog. But there is nothing Beethoven, Benji, Turner or Hooch in director Cesc Gay’s film. There’s no ‘must-love’ dogs in Truman but it’s certainly a must-see. It’s also a ‘read-me’ movie, in Spanish with English subtitles.

Palace Cinemas hosts a range of foreign film festivals across the year, each movie evoking its own unique gaze at culture in a diverse offering of mystery, drama, romance, comedy or thriller. If you find fascination in watching a film in a different language, you may appreciate that expressions of the everyday can be unearthing of a lifetime. Truman featured in the Spanish Film Festival that recently closed in Melbourne, and is in the pipeline for general release soon.

“Why don’t you stay here?” asks Julián (Ricardo Darín) of new arrival Tomás (Javier Cámara) from Canada.

“You snore and your dog doesn’t like me,” says best friend Tomás.

Then unveils a wistful tale of friendship, a close observation of the human heart and mind.

Julián has terminal cancer. Tomás is a willing yet bewildered party to a four-day visit. How to spend time with a dying person, especially one as dogged as Julián who has a few goodbyes up his sleeve—counting one to the doctor to say no to chemo. Julián wishes to die with dignity. He wants to put his affairs in order. He wants to sort out the dog—do animals experience grief? Who to look after the beloved terrier once Julián is gone?

Truman is a love story. It examines a sombre topic with poise and humour. Actors Darín and Cámara portray human nature in astounding performances that make this film spectacular.

Director Cesc Gay delivers, and then some. Truman has won notable awards—the los Premios Goya (Spain’s main national annual film awards) and Premis Gaudí (best film in Catalan language) for best film director, actor, supporting actor (and actress) and screen play.

Keep a lookout for Truman’s general release to the big screens real soon.


Director: Cesc Gay; Written by Tomàs Aragay, Cesc Gay; Produced by Daniel Burman; Diego Dubcovsky; Marta Esteban; Alejandro Gorodisch; Axel Kuschevatzky; Matías Mosteirín; Hugo Sigman; Music by Nico Cota; Toti Soler

WITH: Ricardo Darín, Javier Cámara, Dolores Fonzi

Running Time: 108 min

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Spanish with English subtitles