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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017: # 86. Manuel Martin Cuenca’s The Motive

The Motive

Director: Manuel Martin Cuenca
Writer: Alejandro Hernandez, Manuel Martin Cuenca

Spanish director Manuel Martin Cuenca caught our attention with his fourth feature, the thriller Cannibal (2013). He’s currently working on two concurrent projects, the documentary The Miramar Murders and his fifth narrative feature, The Motive, a comedy about an aspiring novelist who has recently divorced a successful one. Hungry for his own success, he manipulates the lives of those around him so he may find inspiration in their predicaments for his own novel. Antonio de la Torre (who headlined Cannibal and will also be seen in Pablo Berger’s upcoming Abracadabra) returns to star.

Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Antonio de la Torre, Tenoch Huerta

Production Co./Producer(s): La Loma Blanca PC, Lazona Films, Icónica Producciones, ICAA, the Regional Government of Andalucía, Canal Sur, TVE

U.S. Distributor: Rights available.

Release Date: Cannibal premiered at 2013 TIFF, and since The Motive was in the midst of production this past October, we’re assuming Cuenca to pop up again here (maybe in Platform) or in a prior line-up, like Locarno.

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Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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