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Chicago Theatrical Premiere
CELL 211 (Celda 211)
Best Film Best Director Best Actor + 5 other awards Goya Awards
Best Film Best Director Best Actor + 2 other awards Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain
"Satisfyingly intense... The cast is superb" -Variety
½ "The story follows no established formula. It discourages attempts at anticipation. It unfolds convincingly at every stage, but unpredictably" -Roger Ebert
"A superbly intimidating cast... it's good fun and an effective antidote to sentimental schlock like The Shawshank Redemption" -Chicago Reader
Recommended! "A twisty bruiser of a prison drama...gratifyingly tense" -NewCity Chicago
In this intense, Goya Award-winning drama (the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Awards), Juan (Oliver Alberto Ammann), who is eager to begin at his new post as a prison guard, arrives at the facility a day early to the chagrin of his pregnant wife, Elena. An unfortunate, unexpected accident renders Juan unconscious, and he is rushed into cell 211. When he regains consciousness, he discovers that he is trapped in the middle of a brutal rebellion led by a dangerous prisoner referred to as Malamadre (Luis Tosar). Immersed in this powder-keg situation, Juan's only option for self-preservation is to pretend that he is also an inmate. Malamadre ("Badass") is convinced of Juan's veracity, and takes him into the fold, as Juan's every word and action are closely scrutinized by the latter's top lieutenants -- Tachuela and the unhinged Releches. He also discovers that Basque terrorists are incarcerated in the same facility and plots to use them as bargaining tool; after all, their involvement in this riot elevates the situation from just a local conflict to one of national importance. For those cinephiles captivated by Jacques Audiard's A Prophet, do not miss Cell 211, which shrewdly weaves strands of political commentary into the fabric of an intriguing, suspenseful thriller.
Directed by Daniel Monzón, 2009, Spain, 35mm, 110 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.