Criticism: Tim Roth portrays his career in the tough but cunning Sundown drama

Tim Roth in Sundown, opening April 8 at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, April 15 in other selected Canadian cities.Courtesy of Route 504


  • Written and directed Michael Franco
  • Protagonist Tim Roth, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Iazua Larios
  • Classification 14Α; 82 minutes
  • It opens April 8 at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, April 15 in other selected Canadian cities. available on request from 29 April

Selection of the reviewer

If the name Michelle Franco makes you shudder, then go ahead. Over the past decade, the Mexican director has become a polarizing figure in film criticism circles, with some viewers feeling incredibly outraged by the man’s tough streak.

Fairly fair, given the end of Franco’s character study in 2015 Chronic and the entire 2020 thriller “eat the rich” New Order, the last of which almost turned Franco into such a hated person that I thought for a while a startup that specializes in the production of Franco models. But where some viewers see a sadist, I see a troublemaker – someone who is repeatedly told which buttons he should not press, but breaks them hard anyway, enjoying the chaos that ensues and daring his audience to do the same.

His new movie Sunset it is as miserable as Franco’s reputation suggests and as fascinating. While vacationing with his family at a high-quality Mexican resort, British slaughterhouse tycoon Neil (Tim Roth) seems to be moving away from his surroundings. Something does not work, but not necessarily in this typical way of judging middle age.

When Neil’s family suddenly has to return home to attend a funeral, Neil finds an excuse for losing his passport and quickly decides to make a new life out of the bubble of his privileges. As his family begs him to return home, Neil loses himself in cheap bars and shabby hotels, eventually starting a somewhat absurd relationship with a young local (Iazua Larios).

There is a reversal that reaches two thirds Sunset which will either make you angry or make you laugh, realizing all the suspicions that Franco had fallen to that point. And so far in this review, you probably already know which way to go. At my end, Sunset works – Franco sells his story with the right evil, while Roth (who reunites here with Chronic director) manages to find a strange pain in a man who sleeps in life. It may be the best work of the actor’s long career – or at least the most carefully controlled.

If you’re still curious, the short run time of the movie will help you seal the pitch. Unlike Neil’s trip to Mexico, you do not need to stay with him Sunset more than you would like.

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