Netflix: To see ‘Tomy’s notebook’ prepare the tissues

Valeria Bertuccelli plays María Vázquez, the woman who, terminally ill, wrote to her son, and also tweeted about her experience, in the Carlos Sorín film.

Prepare the tissues, even those who say they do not have easy tears. Tomy’s notebook it is a sensitive, non-corny movie about a mother, a wife, a friend, whose cancer has metastasized.

Someone who from his bed in the clinic decides to write his son a notebook in which he puts recommendations, not teachings, and anecdotes, as a legacy or offering for when he can read.

Vulnerability is not the same as weakness. Accepting what ails you is a matter of strength.

The film – which, as it was not scheduled to premiere in theaters, is not considered to be the Argentine sent to the Oscar, which will be released on Tuesday, the day of its premiere on Netflix – is based on real events. María Vázquez had ovarian cancer and in addition to the notebook for her son Nippur, she gained a certain notoriety by tweeting, from her room, about everything that was happening to her. The Nippur Notebook was published a few months after his death in 2015, at just 43 years old. And it quickly morphed into an editorial boom.

Something like the home camera footage that Bob (Michael Keaton) left his little boy when he found out that he was going to die in My life, the screenwriter film of Ghost, Bruce Joel Rubin. In that 1993 film you couldn’t stop crying from the beginning to the end.

The Argentine María Vázquez – Marie- was the owner of a very acid sense of humor. But neither she nor the director Carlos Sorin they are cynical. At most, they display sarcasm, which in the case of the filmmaker The King’s Movie, Minimal stories and the mockumentary The era of the rhea he always knew how to drive.

And Sorín is one of the few directors of his generation –The King’s Movie, awarded in Venice in 1986, was his debut work at the age of 41- which has managed to keep his eyes fresh. When many choose the easier path, he continues to play, experimenting with the spectator.

So it is easy to think that Joel’s director was the best one to bring Marie’s story to the cinema -or Netflix, bah-, her fears told in a direct and honest way, as she was.

No “a painful and long illness”. Marie’s fingers were as sharp on Twitter as her tongue when she spoke to the group of friends who visited her at the clinic where there was no choice but to give her palliative care, since the cancer had spread so much that no treatment was possible.

Almost shot in one location – the room in the clinic – the film focuses on Marie and those around her, and they support her however it turns out, including her little boy. The camera rests on Valeria Bertuccelli, who looks shaved and much thinner, but who has not lost an ounce of talent in her transformation.

It is surely the most difficult role that the actress of A boyfriend for my wife Y Scenes of conjugal life, and it is clearly a prop, the mainstay of the film.

Because the film also addresses sensitive issues, and opens the controversy over Marie’s determination to, at a certain point, decide on her body and her life. Final sedation, euthanasia, is not for making jokes.

Sorín loves working with non-actors, and although in Tomy’s notebook gathered a cast of notables –Esteban Lamothe is the husband; Mauricio Dayub, the doctor; Malena Pichot, her best friend; Ana Katz Y Paola BarrientosAmong many – it was impossible for him to give the role of the son to an experienced child. And it is Julián Sorín, his grandson, who hugs Bertuccelli, plays and falls asleep in his arms.

“Tomy’s notebook”

Very good

Drama. Argentina, 2020. 84 ‘, 16. SAM: Carlos Sorín. With: Valeria Bertuccelli, Esteban Lamothe, Malena Pichot, Mauricio Dayub. Available at: Netflix, since Tuesday 24/11.

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