“El Planeta” is a Spanish comedy of economic errors that opens with a negotiation. Leo, performed by the movie’s director, Amalia Ulman, is a vogue scholar who meets with a middle-aged man to debate her sexual quite than sartorial companies. Leo’s espresso date lays out his preferences and kinks, and he or she names her value. Her date laughs in response. Of their metropolis of Gijón, Spain, he explains, oral intercourse would possibly go for a cool 20 euros, not the five hundred euros she proposed. In “El Planeta,” not even intercourse work can fetch a dwelling wage.
After her failed try to earn an sincere wage, Leo returns to the residence she shares together with her mom (performed by Amalia’s actual mom, Ale Ulman). There isn’t a meals within the fridge, no payments have been paid, and neither mom nor daughter has work. As a substitute, they get by by means of grifting, donning fur coats to dine at eating places the place they’ve run up unpayable tabs. Leo is conflicted, however her mom is cheerfully dedicated to the rip-off whatever the penalties. She causes that not less than in jail, the meals is all the time free.
This can be a dry comedy that elicits amused recognition quite than stomach laughs, and Ulman, as a first-time function director, makes canny selections to set a wry tone. The film was shot in black and white, and music is used sparingly. Even when Leo and her mom current an look of opulence, with bespoke robes and designer T-shirts, they continue to be visually trapped in a world of austerity. Like its grifter characters, “El Planeta” indicators luxurious however it doesn’t luxuriate, creating an expertise that’s extra intellectually than sensually satisfying.
Not rated. In Spanish, with subtitles. Working time: 1 hour 19 minutes. In theaters.