As Luck Would Have It / La chispa de la vida
Alex de la Iglesia’s As Luck Would Have It takes the theme of Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole – that of the cynical inhumanity of the media – and updates it to address the issues of modern-day Spain. In de la Iglesia’s version, long unemployed adman, Roberto Gómez (José Mota) finds himself in a rather difficult position – his head impaled on a piece of rebar in the middle of an ancient Greek amphitheater on the day that it’s being shown off to the media for its grand opening celebration. Roberto becomes the news story of the day as doctors try to figure out how to deal with his precarious situation. If he gets moved, he may die. Robert sees his predicament as a way to capitalize on his life – or maybe his death. Mota’s takes up most of the screen time with his moving performance. Selma Hayak brings huge heart to the role of his ever-loving wife. De la Iglesia keeps the story taut, engaging and bitterly funny in this parable of our darker natures.
Originally published in EL Magazine, November 2014.