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Farhadi’s Cannes Opener Will Keep Audiences on Edge

From left: Javier Bardem, Eduard Fernandez, Ricardo Darin and Penelope Cruz in Everybody KnowsFrom left: Javier Bardem, Eduard Fernandez, Ricardo Darin and Penelope Cruz in Everybody Knows

When Asghar Farhadi told Javier Bardem that he wanted to make a film in Spanish set in Spain, the Oscar-winning actor said he “was like really? OK, that’s brave”.

But the Spanish star said the result of “Everybody Knows”, which will open Cannes film festival today, is “more Spanish than many Spanish movies made in Spain,” AFP quoted him as saying.

“It’s a great honor to open such an amazing festival with a movie with Asghar Farhadi. But also it’s a risk, it’s scary, it’s a responsibility,” Bardem added.

Farhadi’s “A Separation” and “The Salesman” both won foreign language Oscars, but it was his 2014 French feature “The Past” that changed Bardem’s mind.

“When I saw The Past, I understood he can do it,” the 49-year-old actor said in an interview in Paris.

Up for the Cannes’ top Palme d’Or prize, “Everybody Knows” is a psychological thriller about a wedding in a small town that is turned upside down by a family tragedy.

Bardem stars alongside his wife and fellow Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz, their ninth film together and second in a row after last year’s “Escobar”.

He said their latest film together was different from another set in Spain, Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”.

“Woody Allen’s movie is about clichés, about what the foreign tourists are looking for, they go to Barcelona for that,” Bardem noted. “But Asghar is a different game... he’s very realistic. I smell Spain in Farhadi’s film”.

The Spanish actor expressed that the film has the ingredients of “a Farhadi movie”.

“Usually his stories are very nice, simple, open-hearted people under very strong circumstances and conflicts,” Bardem underlined. “But in this case... there is a thriller aspect that makes you want to know more what is going on and keeps you at the edge of the seat.”

Bardem won the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role for “No Country for Old Men” in 2008 and best actor award at Cannes in 2010 for “Biutiful”.

Everybody Knows is produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy at Memento Films Production and Alvaro Longoria at Morena Films.

The 71st annual Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to be held from May 8-19. Australian actress Cate Blanchett has been named as the president of the jury. 

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