7 Days in Havana

Predictably patchy portmanteau pic "7 Days in Havana" sutures together seven flimsy-to-outright bad shorts set across a week in Havana, to forgettable effect.

Predictably patchy portmanteau pic “7 Days in Havana” sutures together seven flimsy-to-outright bad shorts set across a week in Havana, to forgettable effect. Given that part of the production coin came from rum-maker Havana Club and advertising outfit M&C Saatchi, it’s no surprise the pic plays like a product-placement exercise more suited to a corporate website than to the cinema. Events eager to snag guests are likely to bite, but despite its name helmers, the pic will stay embargoed within the fest circuit.

Benicio del Toro’s daft opener finds Josh Hutcherson’s dim tourist hooking up with a transvestite. Pablo Trapero’s whatever segment has Emir Kusturica, as himself, befriending chauffeur/musician Alexander Abreu. Julio Medem’s embarrassing telenovela-like mini-meller features a Daniel Bruehl/Melvis Estevez/Leo Benitez love triangle. Elia Suleiman’s episode, in some ways the best, shows the helmer himself feeling lost in translation. Gaspar Noe’s take on a voodoo exorcism at least has style, while Juan Carlos Tabio’s comedy drama is visually flat. Laurent Cantet’s community comedy is cute but inconsequential. Vague coherence is created by all segs being similarly luridly colored and technically cheap-looking; even the music, an expected strong suit, underwhelms.

7 Days in Havana


Production: A Rezo Films (in France) release of a Full House, Morena Films presentation in collaboration with Havana Club Intl. in association with Backup Films, Sofica Coficup, Palatine Etoile 8 & 9, M&C Saatchi Gad, Chaocorp Distribution, with the collaboration of Icaa and the participation of Canal Plus. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Music, Xavi Turull, Descemer Bueno, Kelvis Ochoa; production designer, Juan Pedro de Gaspar. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 24, 2012. Running time: 129 MIN.

Crew: El Yuma Produced by Alvaro Longoria. Executive producer, Laura Bickford. Directed by Benicio Del Toro. Screenplay, Leonardo Padura. Camera (color, HD), Daniel Aranyo; editor, Rich Fox. With: Josh Hutcherson, Vladimir Cruz. (Spanish, English dialogue)
Jam Session Produced by Gael Nouaille. Directed by Pablo Trapero. Screenplay, Alejandro Fadel, Martin Mauregui, Santiago Mitre, Trapero. Camera (color, HD), Diego Dussuel; editor, Santiago Esteves, Trapero. With: Emir Kusturica, Alexander Abreu. (Spanish, Serbian dialogue)
Cecilia's Temptation Produced by Alvaro Longoria. Directed, edited by Julio Medem. Screenplay, Leonardo Padura, Medem. Camera (color, HD), Daniel Aranyo. With: Daniel Bruehl, Melvis Estevez, Leo Benitez.
Diary of a Beginner Produced by Laurent Baudens, Gael Nouaille. Directed, written by Elia Suleiman. Camera (color, HD), Daniel Aranyo; editor, Veronique Lange. With: Elia Suleiman. (Spanish, Arabic dialogue)
Ritual Produced by Laurent Baudens. Directed, written by Gaspar Noe. Camera (color, HD), Noe; editors, Olivier Thery, Lapiney, Noe. With: Cristela De La Caridad Herrera, Othello Rensoli.
Dulce Amargo Produced by Alvaro Longoria. Directed by Juan Carlos Tabio. Screenplay, Leonardo Padura. Camera (color, HD), Daniel Aranyo; editor, Berta Frias. With: Mirtha Ibarra, Jorge Perugorria, Estevez.
The Fountain Produced by Didar Domehri. Directed, written by Laurent Cantet. Camera (color, HD), Diego Dussuel; editor, Alexandro Rodriguez. With: Nathalia Amore, Othello Rensoli.

More Film

  • BOTM-Eve-Viper-Gang

    Director Angus Gibson: My Audience is ‘Young, Black South Africans’

    DURBAN–Sophiatown, 1958. On the outskirts of Johannesburg, as the apartheid police prepare to demolish the community at the heart of black South African cultural and intellectual life, a notorious gang leader is determined to make a last stand. Resisting the forced evictions that will transport the residents of Sophiatown to a desolate township miles away, [...]

  • marvel

    Marvel Phase 4 Plan Revealed, But Comic-Con’s Big Winner is Disney Plus

    In a triumphant return to the San Diego Comic-Con main stage, leadership at Marvel Studios managed some splashy surprises and showed off risky creative bets for the next two years of content coming from the superhero operation. But the biggest takeaway from the Saturday presentation inside Hall H was how important Marvel will make Disney [...]

  • Florence Pugh, O. T. Fagbenle, Rachel

    'Black Widow': Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh Go Head-to-Head in First Footage

    Marvel’s “Black Widow” has only been in production for a month, but studio president Kevin Feige still delivered the goods for fans at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Filmmakers brought an intense sizzle reel of on-location shots, kicked off by a dazzling and bone-crushing fight sequence between lead Scarlett Johansson and her on-screen sister Florence [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor

    Natalie Portman Returns for 'Thor: Love and Thunder' as Female Thor

    Natalie Portman is coming back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she’s no one’s love interest this time around. The Oscar winner will play a female god of thunder in the fourth film from the Chris Hemsworth series, titled “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Portman hit the stage at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday to great [...]

  • Fantastic Four

    New 'Fantastic Four' Movie in Development at Marvel

    Marvel is going back to the Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced that a new movie based on the superhero group is in the works at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Further details, however, including a release date, were not revealed. It marks the first Fox property for Disney to mine since the [...]

  • Mahershala AliMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Mahershala Ali to Star in Marvel's 'Blade' Reboot

    Marvel is rebooting the “Blade” series, and has cast Mahershala Ali to star. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced the news at Comic-Con on Saturday as the panel’s big ending surprise. Ali also took the stage at the announcement to massive applause, donning the Blade baseball cap. Wesley Snipes previously played the half-vampire superhero in [...]

  • Doctor Strange

    'Doctor Strange' Sequel Billed as First MCU Horror Film at Comic-Con

    A sequel to “Doctor Strange” was announced as expected on Saturday at Marvel’s Comic-Con panel — what we didn’t see coming was the tone. Director Scott Derrickson said the film, titled “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” will mine the original comics and play up “the gothic, the horror.” Derrickson said it will lead [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content