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Movies, News/Rumors, Projects   ⋄ March 13, 2014

Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins and Olga Kurylenko will star in conflict-zone drama “A Perfect Day,” the English-language debut of Fernando Leon de Aranoa, one of Spain’s most reputable and popular auteurs.

France’s Melanie Thierry (“Babylon AD” and Bosnia’s Fedja Stukan (“In the Land of Blood and Honey”) also form part of the choral cast.

The Spanish producer of Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Midnight in Paris” and Isabel Coixet’s “The Secret Life of Words,” which toplined Tim Robbins, Mediapro will team with Reposado Producciones, Leon de Aranoa’s label, to produce “Day.” It marks their fourth feature co-production. Jaume Roures and Leon de Aranoa produce; Javier Mendez and Patricia de Muns exec-produce.

Rolling for 10 weeks in and around Granada, southern Spain, from March 17, “A Perfect Day” is a drama laced with large humor and tension, both of which come with the territory, plus echoes of war movies.

Leon’s sixth – and ironically titled – fiction feature turns on a motley group of aid workers in a conflict zone. They 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, the film’s synopsis runs, becomes an impossible mission where the real enemy could be irrationality itself.

“The workers cross the frenzied war landscape trying to fix the problem, like guinea pigs in a maze,” the synopsis adds.

“A Perfect Day” adapts the novel, “Dejarse Llover,” by Paula Farias, a writer and doctor who has faced many humanitarian emergencies working for Doctors Without Borders since 1999.

“This film uses 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. Because there is no place on earth where it is more necessary,” said Leon de Aranoa.

He added: “Fast, direct, rough, a race against the clock, this film has no time to waste. Like cars in the mud, like the trucks in ‘The Wages of Fear,’ like the aid workers on the ground. Lively, luminous, impulsive, tough and dreamy, desperate, funny despite it all… that’s how I imagine this film.”

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