Polanski mocks the rich in a grotesque comedy with an unrecognizable Mickey Rourke | Entertainment | The USA Print

Polanski mocks the rich in a grotesque comedy with an unrecognizable Mickey Rourke

At the age of 90, Roman Polanski has been unleashed by directing a grotesque comedy in which he is comfortable with millionaires and leaves no puppet with a head. The palace has landed on the Venice Lido out of competition and without the presence on Italian soil of the director of Polish origin due to the search and capture order against him for the case of rape of a minor in the United States that occurred four years ago decades.

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Far from the auteur tone of his most acclaimed works, the film’s story dives into absurd situations and anecdotes that the director himself has observed as a client in a luxury hotel in Switzerland. A group of Russian mobsters with various models, an older actor run down, widows with excessive scalpels on their faces, an old nonagenarian who celebrates his first year of marriage to a twentysomething and a guy with a tanned face exaggerated by cosmetic surgery played by an unrecognizable Mickey Rourke, already unrecognizable since he got used to going through the operating room some time ago. In addition, he wears a blonde wig, which exaggerates the character even more, another of those rich men who is not going through his best moment and who receives a visit from a son he does not recognize.

Still from 'The palace'

Still from ‘The palace’

And Fanny Ardant plays a capricious woman who doesn’t part with her dog, a Chihuahua that she feeds caviar to and has gastric problems. Through the corridors of The Palace we will see even a penguin walk. With such fauna and the most incredible requests, the manager of the establishment has to deal with a day seized by panic due to the so-called “Year 2000 effect”, with rumors that technology could collapse at the turn of the millennium.

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The multiple moments of sheer extravagance in that hotel of troubles are reminiscent, saving the great distances, of Ruben Östlund’s award-winning satire The triangle of sadness, set on a cruise ship and revealing the clash between the world of billionaires and the workers at their service. Neither Rourke nor John Cleese, who plays the old man married to a young woman, have attended the Lido. Instead, Ardant, Joaquim de Almeida and Olivier Masucci have done so, highlighting Polanski’s energy at his advanced age. “He is passionate about cinema, I have had a lot of fun with the stupidity and madness of these characters,” said the French actress at a press conference. The producer of the film, Luca Barbareschi, assures that “it has been very difficult to make this film. Polanski is not easy to finance” and has regretted that it will probably not be released in France.

The film team that has come to present it in Venice

The film team that has come to present it in Venice


Polanski’s previous film, The officer and the spy, a period drama about the Dreyfus affair, won the Grand Jury Prize in Venice, the best director award at the César Awards and was one of the highest-grossing French films of 2019. But its victory at the Césars sparked such a scandal massive in the Gallic country that provoked a complete revision of the leadership of the organization of prizes. Barbareschi also criticized American streaming platforms for not getting on board with the film. “I don’t understand why all the platforms: Paramount+, Amazon, Netflix, have [películas más antiguas] of Polanski that are generating millions and now they don’t want to produce the new one”. And he concluded his speech with a “Long live Polanski!”.

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