Rudo y Cursi (2008) Poster

Rudo y Cursi (2008)

  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 3,729 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Sport
  • Release Date: 19 December 2008 (Mexico)
  • Runtime: Netherlands:103 min | USA:103 min | Argentina:103 min
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Rudo y Cursi (2008)


Rudo y Cursi 2008tt0405393.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Rudo y Cursi (2008)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 3,729 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Sport
  • Release Date: 19 December 2008 (Mexico)
  • Runtime: Netherlands:103 min | USA:103 min | Argentina:103 min
  • Filming Location: Cihuatlan, Mexico
  • Gross: $1,823,468(USA)(16 August 2009)
  • Director: Carlos Cuarón
  • Stars: Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Guillermo Francella
  • Original Music By: Leoncio Lara  Felipe Perez Santiago (music) (as Felipe Pérez Santiago) 
  • Soundtrack: I Want You To Want Me
  • Plot Keyword: Soccer | Gambling | Mexican | Mexico City | Debt

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Carlos Cuarón  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • The song that ‘Gael Garcia Bernal’ sings (‘Quiero que me Quieras’) is a cover to Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me”
  • All the soccer teams and players that appear in the movie are fictional (such as Nopaleros or Deportivo Amaranto).
  • The final soccer game was filmed in the Nemesio Diez Stadium, home of Toluca, a Mexican 1st soccer division team,
  • The two sports commentators are voiced over by David Faitelson and Antonio Rosique, two popular TV personalities in Mexico.

Plot: Two siblings rival each other inside the world of professional soccer. Full summary »  »

Story: Mexican half brothers Beto and Tato – who will eventually be appropriately nicknamed Rudo (rough) and Cursi (corny), respectively – have a typical love/hate relationship with each other. They both work on a banana plantation and live with their extended family consisting of their mother, abusive stepfather, sister Nadia, and Beto's wife Toña and their children. The family are rural peasant class and are barely making ends meet. The brother's fortunes change when into their lives comes Batuta, a soccer scout. Despite their advancing ages, both Beto and Tato are naturally gifted at soccer, Beto as a goaltender and Tato as a striker. Playing professionally has always been Beto's dream, although Tato has other professional thoughts on his mind. Batuta eventually recruits both for different teams in Mexico City. Beto and Tato's fortunes rise and fall, the falls based on those things which hold more passion for the brothers…Written by Huggo  


Synopsis: Two brothers from a rural Mexican village are playing in a local football match. Tato (Gael Garcia) is the star striker and Beto (Diego Luna) is the eccentric goalkeeper. During one match they are spotted by a talent scout and he offers one of them the opportunity to go to the Capital with him and try out for one of the countrys big teams. As the scouts roster is already full he says he can only take one of the brothers and they decide to settle it on a penalty shoot out. Tato scores the penalty against his brother therefore earning the right to head to the Capital.

After a slow start Tato finally makes it big and earns the nickname ‘Cursi’. His brother soon follows and joins a rival team where he is given the nickname ‘Rudo’. Cursi becomes a national hero and starts dating a famous model whilst his brother struggles with life in the City and misses his family back home.

Things start to go worse for the brothers. Tato loses his goalscoring touch and his woman and his brother gets lured into a world of cocaine and gambling. The film all centres around one match as the 2 brothers come face to face. Cursi is threatened with demotion to Division 2 if he fails to score in this match, Rudo must throw the match in order to pay off his gambling debts or he will be killed. In the last minute Rudo saves a penalty from Tato and the match finishes goalless. Cursi quits football and returns home and Rudo is shot, losing a leg and therefore his career.

They both end up back in the rural village with their family where the simpler way of life seems to suit them more.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Alfonso Cuarón known as producer
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu known as producer
  • Tita Lombardo known as line producer
  • Guillermo del Toro known as producer
  • Frida Torresblanco known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Gael García Bernal known as Tato
  • Diego Luna known as Beto
  • Guillermo Francella known as Batuta
  • Dolores Heredia known as Elvira
  • Adriana Paz known as Toña
  • Jessica Mas known as Maya
  • Salvador Zerboni known as Jorge W
  • Tania Esmeralda Aguilar known as Nadia
  • Joaquín Cosio known as Arnulfo
  • Alfredo Alfonso known as Don Casimiro
  • Fermín Martínez known as DT Obdulio
  • Eduardo Von known as DT Bruno López
  • Axel Ricco known as Mena
  • Harold Torres known as Trompo Tovar
  • Gabino Rodríguez known as Mafafo
  • Alexander Da Silva known as Gringa Roldán
  • Armando Hernández known as Cienpiés
  • Alexandré Barceló known as Fito
  • Jorge Mondragón known as Porro
  • Enoc Leaño known as Árbitro
  • José Carlos Rodríguez known as DT Merodio
  • Martín Altomaro known as Comentarista TV 1
  • Pablo Lach known as Comentarista TV 2
  • David Faitelson known as Voz comentarista TV 1 (voice)
  • Antonio Rosique known as Voz comentarista TV 2 (voice)
  • Claudia Becker known as Quetis
  • Manuel Teil known as Quico
  • René Campero known as Apostador 1
  • Sonia Guerrero known as Apostador 2
  • Jorge Guerrero known as Apostador 3
  • Andrés Almeida known as Apostador 4
  • Annette Fradera known as Apostador 5
  • Olinka Velázquez known as Mesera (as Olynka Velázquez)
  • Pedro De Tavira known as Chavo Hipódromo 1
  • Felipe de Lara known as Chavo Hipódromo 2
  • Jimena Cuarón Barraza known as Chava Hipódromo 1
  • Fernanda De la Peza known as Chava Hipódromo 2
  • Claudia Schmidt known as Chava Fresa 1
  • Giselle Elías known as Chava Fresa 2
  • César René Vigné known as Nopalero #2 (uncredited)
  • Jorge Zárate known as Voz Bruno López (voice) (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Marisa Amenta known as makeup artist
  • David Ruiz Gameros known as assistant makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Sandra Flores known as assistant set decorator
  • Alejandro García known as decorator assistant
  • Arturo Lazcano known as head scenic painter
  • René Marquéz known as property master
  • Oscar Tello known as assistant production designer (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Focus Features International (FFI) (in association with)
  • Universal International Pictures (UI) (in association with)
  • Canana Films
  • Cha Cha Chá Films
  • Esperanto Filmoj
  • Producciones Anhelo

Other Companies:

  • Crowd In A Box  inflatable extras
  • Crowd In A Box  inflatable mannequins
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound post-production


  • SND (2010) (France) (theatrical)
  • TOBIS Film (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Tohokushinsha Film (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • United International Pictures (UIP) (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Distribution (2008) (Belgium) (all media)
  • A-Film Distribution (2008) (Luxembourg) (all media)
  • A-Film Distribution (2009) (Netherlands) (all media)
  • A-Film Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Odeon (2008) (Greece) (all media)
  • Sony Pictures Classics (2008) (Canada) (all media)
  • Sony Pictures Classics (2009) (USA) (all media)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Universal Home Video (2009) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2008) (Mexico) (all media)



Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:
  • Szvák Antal known as visual effects coordinator: Cube Effects
  • Oliver Atherton known as digital compositor
  • Jo Ann Cordero Belen known as roto artist: Double Negative
  • Zoltán Benyó known as visual effects producer: Cube Effects
  • Andre Braithwaite known as animator
  • Richard Briscoe known as visual effects supervisor
  • Nik Brownlee known as digital compositor: Double Negative
  • Ana Mestre de Almeida Pereira known as roto/prep artist: Double Negative (as Ana Mestre)
  • Papp Gabriella known as rotoscope artist: Cube Effects
  • Pete Hanson known as studio manager: double negative
  • Pete Jopling known as compositing supervisor: Double Negative
  • Charlotte Merrill known as digital compositor
  • Thomas Middleton known as roto artist: Double Negative
  • Fábry Olivia known as rotoscope artist: Cube Effects
  • Peter Olliff known as visual effects editor: Double Negative
  • Mila Patriki known as digital intermediate colourist
  • Paul Scott known as roto/prep artist
  • Tammy Smith known as roto/prep artist: double negative
  • Dan Snape known as digital compositor: Double Negative
  • Noémi Somoskövy known as visual effects coordinator: Cube Effects
  • Jim Steel known as digital compositor: Double Negative
  • Christopher Sweet known as matchmove artist
  • Gábor Székely known as technical director: Cube Effects
  • Ria Tamok known as lead rotoscope artist: Cube Effects
  • Clare Tinsley known as visual effects producer: Double Negative
  • Neil West known as matchmove artist: Double Negative
  • Motassem Younes known as digital opticals
  • Péter Zavorszky known as visual effects production manager: Cube Effects
  • Zoltán Ács known as rotoscope artist: Cube Effects
  • Taz Lodder known as technical support: Double Negative (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • Mexico 19 December 2008
  • Argentina 8 January 2009
  • Chile 27 February 2009
  • Venezuela 13 March 2009
  • USA April 2009 (San Francisco International Film Festival)
  • Argentina 8 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 22 April 2009 (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • Peru 23 April 2009
  • Spain 24 April 2009
  • Uruguay 24 April 2009
  • USA 26 April 2009 (Newport Beach International Film Festival)
  • Panama 30 April 2009
  • USA 8 May 2009 (limited)
  • Mexico 15 May 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Canada 22 May 2009 (limited)
  • Israel 28 May 2009
  • Brazil 3 June 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Portugal 11 June 2009
  • UK 21 June 2009 (Edinburgh Film Festival)
  • UK 22 June 2009 (London) (premiere)
  • Ireland 26 June 2009
  • UK 26 June 2009
  • Netherlands 16 July 2009
  • USA 25 August 2009 (DVD premiere) (Blu-ray premiere)
  • Greece 21 September 2009 (Athens Film Festival)
  • Romania 29 September 2009 (Iasi International Film Festival)
  • Belgium 30 September 2009
  • Sweden 25 November 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 15 January 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 20 February 2010
  • Greece 4 March 2010
  • Russia 10 June 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • France 1 September 2010

MPAA: Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content and brief drug use



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. moviemanMA from Massachusetts
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    In 2001, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna starred in Y tu mamatambien, a film I would place in the top ten for this decade. Theirdynamic on screen was palpable. The combination of a their performancesas well as a gripping story from the Cuaron brothers, Carlos andAlfonso. Alfonso directed the film and went on to direct Harry Potterand the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men, the latter being agem. Now, Carlos has taken the reigns as director for his first featurewith Rudo y Cursi.

    He reuintes with his Y tu mama stars Bernal and Luna, who have hadstellar careers since 2001. Here they play brothers in a small Mexicantown who dream of one day leaving and making it big. Beto (Luna) wantsto become the greatest goalie in the country while Tato (Bernal) wantsto be a singer, but can play soccer better than he can sing. They arediscovered by Batuta (Guillermo Francella) during one of their gamesand offers one of them the chance of a life time: to become aprofessional football player. The scene to decide who gets to go is oneof the best in the film, so I won't ruin it.

    The majority of the film centers on the two brothers trying to fulfilltheir dreams but struggling along the way with gambling, women, and thesport they love. What I love so much about this film are the charactersof Beto and Tato. They are so developed. You can tell exactly whattheir life has been life without knowing too much about them. They aresimple folk and talk as such, regardless of how rich or destitute theybecome. Cuaron makes this unbelievable story as believable as possible,throwing the characters curveballs, much as life does.

    Luna and Bernal work so well together. They look nothing alike yet Ibelieve that they are brothers here. There is a scene where Luna isvery upset with his brother and venting about it to his wife, but whenshe chimes in and talks down about Bernal, Luna tells her not to speakabout his brother like that. It's the little things that they do thatgive their characters depth and feeling.

    Cuaron uses narration throughout the course of the film, much like hedid with Alfonso in Y tu mama tambien. This narrator however has anidentity (Batuta) while in the other film it is anonymous. I think Iwould have liked it better that way or simply done without. Theanonymous narrator can bring some interesting details and histories tothe story, almost like watching a documentary. This narrating is biasand doesn't get quite as personal. It could have been dealt with in abetter manner.

    Although Carlos has been involved with several movies, I was veryimpressed with his directorial debut. Some people are bornscreenwriters, but step behind the camera and things fall apart.Luckily for us Carlos is multi talented like his brother. There aresome very nice scenes here with solid camera work. One particular shotof the two brothers sitting across from each other at a table wasbeautiful in my opinion.

    After the film was over and the credits began to roll, I happened tonotice the names under the "Produced by" title. They were AlfonsoCuaron, Alejandoro Gonzalez Inarritu, and Guillermo Del Toro. Theyrecently made a production company called Cha Cha Cha films. Thesethree filmmakers won world wide acclaim in 2006 when they each releasedbrilliant pieces of cinema. Cuaron with Children of Men, Inarritu withBabel, and Del Toro with Pan's Labyrinth. A pretty impressive threesometo have on your film's credits. I was impressed.

    Rudo y Cursi is a very satisfying film for those who aren't looking fora typical story. Some might get mad at the ending but that'sunderstandable. Such is life. Not everybody can be happy. I guessthat's the film's underlying message that if you accept what life hasdealt you, happiness will come to you.

  2. lennyloon from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    I saw this at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Ithoroughly enjoyed it. The two main characters are brothers and polaropposites in terms of the roles they have. One being fun, jokeylaughable while the other is more gritty, serious and intense.Depending on who was on screen, the story weaved from pleasing comedyto suspenseful drama. The movie is based around the 2 brothers beingplucked from banana plantation obscurity into footballing limelight butthis is by no means a movie about football. It's more about the thebrothers yearning for fame and fortune and their determination toprovide better lives for their loved ones. The directors and actorswere present at the screening and asked the audience to watch this "notas a foreign movie but simply as a movie." With that in mind, don't goto see this looking for strong statement about Mexico City, go and seeit for the story and acting itself.

  3. mago1942 from Brazil
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    This film deals with the question of celebrity, more specifically theincapacity of talented people who come from lower level classes toreally grasp an unique opportunity to ascend to an upper social andeconomic class, although having acknowledged this chance and desiredvery much to realize it. Rudo and Cursi demonstrate, in fact, theirincredible blindness as to the many dangers they would eventually meetin their way to popularity and affluence. Being so terribly incapable,socially and psychologically, of recognizing those threats, they areeasily entangled in them, finally sinking again into the poverty andthe mediocrity they had come from.

    As in Mexico, also in Brazil and most of Latin American countries,soccer is one of few routes a boy who comes from the lower classes has,in order to improve his and his family's life conditions. And if he isa talented player as well as intelligent, determined and has the rightcontacts, we can imagine that he will really amplify his chances ofsuccess.

    However, this happy end is nothing more than an exception: therecurrent story we witness in all of these countries is that, without aminimum psychological structure and proper guidance, these youngsters –like Rudo and Cursi – are hardly able to take advantage of such anopportunity, and will almost inevitably become preys of those vultures– pseudo-friends, self-seeking lovers, dishonest coaches, drug dealers,clumsy or incompetent relatives, swindling partners and intolerant andsadistic fans – who tirelessly and possessively hover all the timearound their victims.

    A short sequence in the film that, in my opinion, synthesizes aparadoxical point in the relationship between celebrities and theirfans. The sequence has no more than one minute, and occurs at 1 hourand 11 minutes of the beginning: in front of a hotel, the soccer playerCursi is approached by two fans. Although they ask him an autograph,these men paradoxically also threaten the player's physical integrity,unless he succeeds in scoring against the opponent team, Nepaleros, inthe decisive game, the next day! What is quite interesting in thisscene is the fact that, being a famous soccer player in a country inwhich this sport is so popular, Cursi is inevitably surrounded by manyof these frightening hooligans, who may be able to declare their totallove to the player provided he never fails, but may also be implacablewith him at the slightest fault.

    My theory is that we can recognize nowadays in the world of soccer notone, but two somewhat different categories of hooligans – although bothare characterized by an irrational violence against their opponents.The first and most common category of hooligan is the "traditional"one, in which the individual is a proud member of an "army" formedaround the soccer team he worships, aimed to systematically fight theadversary teams. These delinquent fans basically imagine themselves as"warriors" invested by their beloved organization with the mission ofdestroying Evil, represented by the other team. "Hooligans", a filmmade by Lexi Alexander in 2005 with Elijah Wood in the main roleclearly exemplifies this category of criminal.

    A "second level" of hooliganism exists, however; and, although it maybe less frequent, it is somewhat more complex: an additionalpsychological component may be present in his profile, besides thementioned proneness to perform collective acts of violence. What I meanis that there is a special type of soccer fan who is so fanaticallyinvolved with fighting his team's enemies that the slightestpossibility of failure in this mission is simply unbearable to him.

    My guess is that this particular kind of hooligan is mainly found inpoor and emergent countries. Raised up in the local society's lowestsocio-economic levels, many of these individuals had experiencedpoverty, abandonment, lack of values, violence and even abuse for themost part of their lives, in the miserable slums in which they grew up.It shouldn't, therefore, be a surprise to anyone that they come to showan abnormally great necessity of something – for instance, hisbelonging to such a group of "warriors" – to be strongly tied to.

    Add to this frame an permanent (and understandable) feeling offrustration, an intimately restrained rage and some not so consciousbelieves such as: "The world is evil", "I deserve more", "Nobody isreliable" and/or "The enemy is everywhere", and the scenario is readyfor a violent reaction of such a fan against an insubordinate idol whoeventually fail to correspond to this fan's paranoid expectations.

    Having written this, it is almost impossible for me not to remember thetragic murder of Andrés Escobar, central back of Colombia at the WorldFootball Cup of 1994, who scored against his own team, leading to theopponent's – the USA – victory. Some time after that game, when leavinga nightclub in his own country, Escobar was shot eleven times by fourmen. Perhaps, in "Rudo y Cursi", poor Cursi was aware of this episode,when he eagerly tried to please those two fans who asked him anautograph!

  4. martys-7 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    The history of the peasant or working class young man who rises to thetop in the world of sports or entertainment only to fall due tobetrayal and/or addiction has been told many times before, but thismovie from the team of "Y Tu Mama Tambien" feels new and dynamic.Compelling, funny, insightful, fast-paced, philosophical, moving, thistale of two brothers who are able to leave their banana-picker job tobecome major league football stars in Mexico City is fresh andexciting.

    With a vibrant cinematography, an unflinching look at the Mexicanrealities of the marginally-living rural laborer class and the world ofprofessional football with its egos, deals, and fame, we are presentedwith a large incisive, ironic slice of Mexican life. Gael Garcia Bernaland Diego Luna as usual disappear into their roles this time as thecompeting brothers who are not prepared to hit the big time. Poverty,machismo, football fanaticism, gambling, sex, cocaine, family problems,shady people are shown as colorful and obscene as the language used bycharacters. The scenes are fluid and entertaining; it may be a dramabut it is also a fun comedy and totally life-affirming. To top it all,there is a great music video with Garcia Bernal doing Van Halen's "IWant you to Want me" as a ranchera in Spanish. In the end, the movieeven at 103 minutes feels perhaps too brief leaving one wishing formore.

    "Rudo y Cursi" reaffirms the talents of director Carlos Cuaron, GaelGarcia Bernal, Diego Luna.

  5. jotix100 from New York
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    Beto and Tato are half brothers eking out a living in Southern Mexico.When we first meet them, they are at a banana plantation. Little dothey know what their lives will turn out to be after they meet Batuta,an unscrupulous soccer scout, who just happens to stop at their smallvillage in the South of the country. Batuta sees an opportunity to sellthe boys, who he sees playing and show great potential, to professionalteams in the capital.

    Tato, who becomes cursi, or a cornball, loves to sing the sugar sweetballads and has dreams of really making it as a singer. Beto, the toughone, has a passion for gambling; Beto appears to have a knack forwinning. As both guys settle into the game, they prove themselves to beassets for the different teams they play. With fame comes money and anopportunity to explore what they really wanted to do in the firstplace.

    After Tato records a video, he attracts the opportunist Maya, who seesin this man, her ticket to a better life. Unfortunately, he doesn'trealize that Maya only wants to get whatever she can from this hickboy. Beto, on the other hand, falls prey of a loan shark who introduceshim to a private gambling club where, after winning initially, he endsup owing his life to the ruthless people that want to collect theirmoney no matter what.

    Carlos Cuaron, brother of Alfonso, comes from a family that are deeplyinvolved in the Mexican cinema. In fact, he was part of the team behindthe much better ¨Y tu mama tambien¨, directed by his brother Alfonso.This film was not exactly his first one as a director, and he couldhave used a lighter tone. The movie goes downhill after the somber fatethe brothers suffer toward the end of the picture, which should notsurprise anyone because in most cases, these unsophisticated boysbecome victims of their own successes.

    The best thing in the film are Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. Bothactors show an amazing chemistry where one compliments the other. Theygive excellent reading to the two peasant boys that go from rags toriches, back to rags. The next best thing is Argentine actor GuillermoFrancella who as Batuta gives a surprising performance as the scoutthat gives the boys a taste of an unexpected life they would never havethought they could have.

  6. Chad Shiira from
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    Against the backdrop of a professional women's baseball league, PennyMarshall's "A League of their Own" is best remembered for its siblingrivalry between wartime sisters Dottie(Geena Davis) and Kip Keller(LoriPetty), who goes head-to-head in the big game, a prerequisite of theinspirational sports film that completes the genre's form. Disparatefrom John G. Avildsen's "Rocky", and other movies of its ilk, in whichnobody would have mourned Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) had he lost,Marshall's film is unique because you're divided, happy as you are forKip, the moviegoer also sympathizes with the loser(well, that's whatthe film is calibrated for), Dollie, who drops the ball after Kit blowsoff the third base coach's signal to stop, and proceeds to runroughshod over her sister in a violent homeplate collision. After all,Dollie was responsible for Kip's career. Similarly, in "Rudo y Cursi",it's the loser you feel for, Tato(Gael Garcia Bernal), whose penaltykick is blocked by his brother Beto(Diego Luna), who unlike Kip, losestoo, while seemingly the victor, because he was supposed to throw thegame. In both films, albeit circumstantially different, there are nowinners where a winner is the genre norm. "Rudo y Cursi" is a sportsfilm without catharsis, which puts this Mexican import in the sameleague as Antonio Cuaron's recent "Sugar", another underdog sportsstory that ends on a decidedly different key from its Hollywoodcounterparts.

    Neither Davis nor Petty(or Madonna for that matter) had a lick ofbaseball talent, but through the magic of rhetorical editing(quickcuts), wishful thinking prevailed, and the audience becameco-conspirators in the fiction that Davis could swing for the fenceswith regularity, while Petty took the mound with an arsenal ofeffective pitches. In "Rudo y Cursi", when Batua the scout(played byGullimero Francella) gauges the brothers' potential in a pick-up soccergame, he's the only witness, because the camera stays on him, having acold one. This directorial choice is made time and time again, aself-reflexive and humorous aside about actors faking athleticgreatness, as the moviegoer never actually sees Tato score a goal, norBeto successfully defend the net; the moviegoer sees reaction shots,instead of first-hand accounts of athletic mimicry. There's no need fora double to do the tricky stuff(e.g. Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney'sdoubles in "The Cutting Edge"); there's nobody to double for. Themontage, the most expedient way to persuade the audience that the actoris excelling at his/her sport(best recent example: Hillary Swank inClint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby"), gets parodied in a scene wherethe soccer ball in quick succession, hits the back of the net from theoff-screen leg of Tato, kicking in the negative space. When thebenchwarmer finally sees some game action and scores his first goal,the moviegoer sees his family, in unison, shouting, "Goal!" instead ofBernal putting his best foot forward, literally, in a diegeticallyenhanced fantasy camp for actors. Not satisfied with only its atypicalapproach towards depicting sports in a sports movie, "Rudo y Cursi" isno etnography(like Gregory Nava's "El Norte", or "Mi Familia"), inwhich a western audience expects Tato and Beto to act in an explicitlyprescribed way.

    More likely than not, the filmic norm of "wetbacks" in most narrativesabout the Hispanic culture, shows its people as the conscientious sortwho send money back home to their destitute families they left behind.Arguably, in "Rudo y Cursi", the brothers go "gringo", as Tato lavisheshis high maintenance girlfriend with exorbitantly priced gifts(forstarters, a SUV), while Beto gambles his money away at back-roomcasinos. Where's mama's SUV; where's mama's house, the one that hersons promised to build for her? Mama does eventually get the house ofher dreams, but not from her American-like sons. Like Ridley Scott's"American Gangster", mama gets her house from a gangster, herdaughter's husband. Tato and Beto are people like us: Americans,"football" players who have American football player counterparts.(Tatocould be Tony Romo, a player distracted by her excessively attractivecelebrity girlfriend, while Beto could retired quarterback ArtSchlichter, who had a severe gambling problem while throwing passes forthe Baltimore Colts in the early-eighties.)

  7. sundevil27 from Salt Lake City, UT USA
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    I just screened this new flick out of Mexico at the Sundance 09'Premiere. I went into the movie very pleased to see the two ultratalents Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna reunited on screen with thefilmmakers that brought us the classic Y tu Mama Tambien. Luna andBernal are tremendous actors and their chemistry on screen is evidentfrom the start, and throughout the movie they bring life to the twomain characters Beto (Luna) and Toto (Bernal). Beto is rough, tough,and determined, Toto is unassuming, curious and also determined thoughin a more naive way. The story follows the two brothers lives as theygo from "hick" banana farmers to professional futbol stars. Thestrength of the movie is in the diversity of the two brotherstransition from nobodies to somebodies and how one brother embraces thefame and all its opportunities while the other is unable to leavebehind his reckless habits. The background to the brotherly chaos isthe insanity of the Mexican futbol league that is corrupt,cutting andbeautiful at the same time. The rise to fame is glorious, but what mustgo up must come down. The weakness of the film is ultimately the suddendownturn which may be, as the director later told the audience, true tothe Mexican way, but this truth hurts the film when it needs a goldenball to lift its spirits. In this day and time, why not give a littlehope, a little success to those who would hope to succeed even thoughthey can't help but screw it up? To each his own, but the pay off isnot nearly as sweet, and not nearly as meaningful as one would hope forthe two brothers.

  8. Jay Harris ( from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    Carlos Cuaron both wrote the screenplay & directed this rather standardstory of 2 brothers who besides caring (when not fighting) for eachother , their families & most of all football.

    We here in the USA call it Soccer.

    They live & love life the way they love football. with completeintensity & devotion.

    There are the usual stumbling blocks in there way, but they play rightthrough them.

    What makes this comic-drama stand out from the rest are its stars.


    In real life both stars are friends from childhood & both have givenfirst rate performances in other films.

    They co-starred in 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' a few years back. They weresuperb in that & are the magnificent here.

    All the performances are great, the entire production first rate, Gaeleven sings in this & is fine.

    The movie is first rate entertainment, the football scenes areexciting. Story may be old fashioned but all else is fresh & new.

    Ratings: ***1/2 (out of 4) 93 points (out of 100) IMDb 9 (out of 10)

  9. Jackpollins from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    Rudo Y Cursi is a foreign dramedy about two brothers who are competingwith each other to get recognition for winning a soccer competition. Itsure as hell does not have the hot-blooded passion of Y tu mamátambién, but it's a great comeback for both of the stars of that. Thisis one of those rare sports movies that doesn't have all the sappy,maddening moments of clichés. It chooses a nice path and commits to it.It's a fast-paced, fun but ultimately forgettable film, a nice comebackfor Luna and Bernal that you'll forget walking out of the theater. Yes,it won't have you talking for days, but in the theater, at the heat ofthe moment, you'll sure as hell enjoy it. Bernal and Luna are also bothvery likable, they have a certain charm, even when they're fightingwith each other. The movie never takes a back turn for the worse, oreven for the best, and that's what I like in it. There's a certainentertainment in watching these two go head to head. Bernal and Lunaboth make sparks off each other, which is definitely the most enjoyableaspect of the film. We need more movies like this these days, a fun,likable film that you don't have to remember or listen to someone elsetalk about because it's simply just simple, forgettable, andrecommendable fun.

  10. Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
    30 Mar 2012, 9:53 pm

    This is a story about poor banana workers from central Mexico whosesudden success is illusory and whose lives go down hill, and it'splayed as a comedy. Carlos, in his directorial debut, is the brother ofAlfonso Cuarón and the author of 'Y tu mamá también,' which Alfonsodirected. This brings back together childhood friends and 'Y tu mamá'stars Diego Luna (who's Tato, nicknamed Rudo, or "rough") and GaelGarcía Bernal (who's Beto, nicknamed Cursi, or "mushy," as insentimental).

    'Rudo y Cursi' takes some care in the reading. Look at thatoften-reproduced snapshot of Gael, Carlos, and Diego lighting up. Gaelwith his head in a bandanna, Carlos in the funny hat, tousled-hairedDiego with the sly grin. These are cool guys. And the actors, in theLatino world, are hotties. That is a lens through which to view what isa decidedly unglamorous film, that sometimes seems to be making fun ofpoor Mexicans, and often looks like a B-picture. The country world ismostly shot darkly, through blue filters, and the actors aren'thighlighted but made boys nearly lost in a crowd scene, Breugel-style.They are also buffoonish, and pathetic.

    Tato and Beto are doing their thing in hicksville, Provincia Guerrero,when along comes Batuta (Guillermo Francella), a talent scout. Formusic or sport? He claims to both, but he's a double-talker. He's onlythere because the tire on his red convertible goes flat and he lacks aspare. So he watches a game of "futbol" and sees the two brothers, forthey are brothers, though Beto is short and pretty and Tato is tall andthin with a little mustache and a sneer.

    Though they're not young (in real life the actors are now 30 and 31)they're good players and Batuta picks one, only one, to take back toMexico City. He stages a goal shot, since Tato is an 'arquero,' agoalie, to decide who gets to go, and they cheat, but the cheating goeswrong, a sequence that will be repeated later. This movie, like 'Amoresperros,' which also starred Garcia Bernal, swarms with spicyobscenities whose picante flavor a gringo can only guess at, and withcheating, and stupidity, which also a gringo may misconstrue aspathetic when they're meant to be droll. Beto gets picked first butlater Batuta comes back and brings Tato to Mexico City too, repeatingall the same clichés. Batuta also speaks intentionally trite,mock-philosophical voice-over lines, pretending to know all about theworld, about sport, and about women, none of which he's all that goodat, because he's basically a loser too, eventually reduced to a VW bug.But everybody survives, and though Rudo and Cursi return to theprovinces in disgrace, loaded with debts after a brief round ofnational fame, thanks to a local drug lord's marrying into the familytheir mother gets the nice house by the beach she dreamed of and thedebts, presumably, get paid off.

    Everybody admits they're essentially losers, and of humble origin.Batuta got called that, (conductor's) baton, because when he wasattempting to be a soccer player himself his teammates on the streetthought he was so bad maybe he could have done better as an orchestraleader. Likewise the fancy, sexy TV lady, Maya (Jessica Mas), seeminglyinaccessible for Beto, till he becomes a soccer star and she suddenlynotices him. He wastes money on her and then finds out she's dumped himwhen he sees her on a TV show cuddling with another soccer player. Tatois a jealous husband with serious anger management problems and agambling habit exponentially worsened by a discovered weakness forcocaine. He has only lost the electric blender when he sneaks off andleaves his wife and kid in the country, but he manages to gamble away amountain of cash he doesn't have in Mexico City.

    Beto's particular idiocy is that he thinks he must be a singer. Hewarbles out of tune and pumps an accordion but despite a small contractand a video arranged by Batuta of him singing Cheap Trick's "I Want Youto Want Me" in Spanish, all he can get is an appearance at a smallcircus.

    This movie might make a whole lot more sense if you are Mexican. It wasa little bit lost on me, though I can't say I minded the fact there's aminimum of "futbol" depicted on screen. This is a film about Mexico'snational delusions and its contradictions, beautifully exemplified bythe two thugs who threaten to kill Beto if he doesn't turn around hislosing streak, and then ask him for autographs for their daughters. Onerevelation is that while Garcia Bernal is charismatic and the NewYorker once called him "impossibly handsome," Diego Luna is moreconvincing and more embedded in his role and seems the truer actor. Asthe "rough" Rudo, he's utterly different from the soft, aristocraticTenoch of 'Y tu mamá también.' He's hard, abrupt, almost scary here.Carlos Cuarón seems to know what he's doing even if I don't; we shouldgive him a chance to do more. 'Y tu mamá' was the more conventionallyartistic film, more successfully designed to play to the globalaudience. But these three hip Mexican guys deserve credit for turninginward and doing something for the home audience. It sounds to myuntutored ear as though despite their exploits in Hollywood and beyond,Gael and Diego can still spout the spicy Mexican vernacular as fluentlyas ever. I wish I were a little more in on the joke.

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