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Melanie Thierry, del Toro, Robbins & Kurylenko are Doctors Without Borders in Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s A Perfect Day

Known for his portraits of people and connection to their employment such as Princesas (or unemployment via Mondays in the Sun), Fernando Leon de Aranoa is perhaps moving into a terrain that was touched upon with Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land. Variety reports that the filmmaker has managed to package an international ensemble cast comprised of Melanie Thierry, Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko and Fedja Stukan for his English language debut going by the commonly used title of A Perfect Day. Production begins this month in Granada, Spain with Mediapro and Leon de Aranoa’s Reposado Producciones producing. Javier Mendez and Patricia de Muns are exec-producing.

Gist: Based on Paula Farias’s novel titled “Dejarse Llover”,  this is about a motley group of aid workers in a conflict zone have divergent takes on their profession and the state they’re in. Sophie (Thierry) still wants to help people, Mambru (Del Toro), just wants to go home, Katya (Kurylenko) once wanted Mambru; Damir (Stukan) wants the war to end; B (Robbins) doesn’t know what he wants. Together, they have to haul a body out of a well. But the simplest task becomes an impossible mission where the real enemy could be irrationality itself.

Worth Noting: 2002’s Mondays in the Sun earned the filmmaker 5 Goya Awards (Spain’s Oscars) including Best Picture and Best Director.

Do We Care?: John Hopewell details Leon de Aranoa’s proposed approach: the helmer plans to use “humor to distance itself: the wittiest comments, comedy at its wildest and grittiest, at its most desperate, often happens in the very midst of tragedy.” A tough sell in my books, but the payoff is huge if tonally accurate.


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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