<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 10, 2023


WE HAVE SEEN all the eight entries in the ongoing Summer Metro-Manila Filmfest. The best three films that we can recommend to anyone without any hesitation are:  

1. “About Us But Not About Us” - An LGBT story written and directed by Jun Lana. It’s like a one-act play with only two characters and set in just one location, a restaurant. But it’s so well written, so well crafted and so well acted that you never get bored while watching it. 

2. “Unravel, A Swiss Side Story” - A lot of masa viewers do not know what the title means and how to pronounce it correctly, and that might alienate possible viewers. Set in beautiful Switzertland, it’s about mental health issues and suicide. Written by Senedy Que and directed by RC de los Reyes, the two leads, Gerald Anderson and Kylie Padilla, are both superb in their roles as damaged persons.   

3. “Here Comes the Groom” - A laugh out loud comedy involving body switches, it’s written and directed by Christopher Martinez. Its funny situations will no doubt amuse viewers who just want light, escapist entertainment. It offers uniformly excellent ensemble acting.   

This Tuesday night, the filmfest awards night will be held at the New Frontier Theatre and we have a feeling Kylie Padilla will bag the best actress award. 

As the lead character who intends to kill herself in ‘Unravel’, she has the best full length role among all the actresses who have an entry in the filmfest, with the movie starting and ending with her. 

And in all fairness to her, she didn’t waste the opportunity to show her dramatic talent as she interprets her role very convincingly. 

For sure, Bela Padilla as the amnesiac heroine of “Yung Libro sa Napanood Ko” might be nominated, but Kylie’s role is way far more demanding and her performance is surely more affecting than Bela’s. 

Another contender should be total newcomer Eisel Serrano as the scriptwriter in “Love You Long Time”, but her role is light as a feather compared to that of Kylie’s much more demanding role.

As for best actor, those who will compete are Romnick Sarmenta and Elijah Canlas, both standouts in their veritable acting duel in ‘About Us’, and Gerald Anderson as Kylie’s knight in shining armour in “Unravel”. 

Take note that all three have a lot of English lines in their movie that they all deliver with aplomb. 

The dark horses will be Carlo Aquino as a boy from 2018 who turns up in the life of a girl who lives in 2022 and Enchong Dee as the straight groom whose body is inhabited by a swishy gay in “Here Come the Groom.”

For best supporting actress, our bet is Gladys Reyes as the grieving wife of the deceased tricycle driver in “Apag”.  

Just like all the other actors in the movie, she is not given many emotional highlights (Director Brillante Mendoza deliberately avoids any hint of melodrama at all cost), but she certainly looks the part.

In the best supporting actor and actress categories, most of the cast members of the rambunctious comedy, “Here Comes the Groom”, can qualify, like Keempee de Leon, Xilhouete, Kaladkaren, Nico Antonio and Maris Racal.

The other comedy entry we saw has no business at all of being an entry in the filmfest. We don’t even know why it was accepted as an official entry when it’s so execrably done. 

It’s supposed to be a comedy but not a single scene is really funny, all the jokes fall flat, and it’s just oh so detestable it could very well qualify as the festival’s worst movie.

As for the box office takes of the entries, as predicted, the zany gay comedy "Here Comes the Groom" is numero uno, followed by "Yun Libro sa Napanood Ko", "Unravel", "Apag" and "About Us But Not About Us". 

Tail enders are "Love You Long Time", "Single Bells" and "Kahit Maputi Na ang Buhok Ko". But the over all box office take is way below what is expected as there were very few people at the malls on opening day.  

Here's hoping theatre attendance will pick up when out of towners return from their vacation. And the award-winners will interest more people to watch them.