×

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.

Popular on Variety

7 Days in Havana

France-Spain-Cuba

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

  • 4127_D015_00199_RC(l-r) Laura Carmichael stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Beats 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo: Last Blood' on Thursday Night

    “Downton Abbey,” the movie continuation of the hit TV series centering on the Crawley family, has won Thursday previews with $2.1 million from 2,800 North American locations. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” has launched with $1.5 million in previews, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: Last Blood” scooped up $1.3 million at nearly 2,900 [...]

  • Renee Zellweger'Judy' film premiere, Arrivals, Samuel

    'Judy's' L.A. Premiere: Renee Zellweger Takes Another Ruby Step Toward the Oscars

    Renée Zellweger continues to follow the yellow brick road to the Oscars. The Los Angeles premiere of Judy on Thursday night in Beverly Hills kept the Academy Award winner on track for a possible second win come February. “We’re just so happy we’re able to share it with you tonight,” Zellweger said to the crowd [...]

  • Benedict Andrews (L) and US actress

    Kristen Stewart on the 'Insane Gall' of Directors as 'Seberg' Arrives in San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN – On Friday, Kristen Stewart and Benedict Andrews’ political thriller “Seberg” plays at the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival, where it opens Perlak, a section dedicated to the Spanish premieres of major international films. The star and her director addressed the media prior to the screening in the festival’s first high-profile press conference, [...]

  • Les Miserables

    Ladj Ly's Cannes Prize-Winner 'Les Miserables' Is France's Oscar Submission

    Ladj Ly’s politically charged drama “Les Miserables,” which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, has been chosen by France’s Oscar committee to enter the international feature film race. In one of the most competitive years for French movies, “Les Miserables” beat out Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the 18th-century-set romance which won [...]

  • David Kehrl neuer Head of Acquisitions

    'Resident Evil's' Constantin Names Acquisitions, International Co-Production Chief

    David Kehrl is to join Constantin Film, Germany’s leading independent movie producer and distributor, as the head of acquisitions and international co-production. He will report to Martin Moszkowicz, chairman of the executive board at Constantin Film, which produces the “Resident Evil” movies. Starting in February, Kehrl will be responsible for the acquisition of international theatrical [...]

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film finally has a name: Leonine. The company revealed its moniker Friday, saying that “Leonine” met its criteria of being associated with its home region of Bavaria and Munich, in southern Germany, and of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content