With good reason fans of Argentinean cinema are celebrating: its been more than 25 years since the industry won the best foreign language Oscar, and when “The Secret of their Eyes” (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) won last Sunday so many people were happy that a much loved film had gotten the international recognition that it deserved.
But the reaction of supporting actor Guillermo Francella has been a bit, well, over the top. For those who know nothing about Argentinean b-movies and television, Francella is the most revered comic in the country, famous for crazy skits where he fumbles his way around beautiful woman. He is also beloved throughout Latin America, and even Fidel Castro is a fan. Director Campanella made him shave off his trademark mustache and put him in a serious role (although Francella added a few funny one-liners) and took advantage of his great acting ability. The result: a great performance, kind of like Jim Carry doing Shakespeare.
And after the awards ceremony, Franchella has been acting like HE won the award, while the other actors like Ricardo Darin were very clear that the movie and CAMPANELLA won the award. Francella hasn’t stopped giving press conferences and he was even greated at the airport like a returning hero, while Campanela has gone back to filming episodes of House for the TV.