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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "All Hail"

Hopefully this likable Argentinean comedy doesn't get buried in Netflix's back catalog. All Hail (great translation of the original title, which literally translates just to "hail") deserves better.

The amusing opening act of the film shows a falsely humble celebrity weatherman reveling in the adoration of neighbors, strangers, and colleagues alike. Miguel's pleasure at his worldly position is obvious, and comedian Guillermo Francella physically embodies the role to perfection -- he has a twinkle in his eye and a bounce in his step. It would come as no surprise were a cartoon sparkle to glisten off his tooth.

When Miguel falls from grace, the social transformation is no less funny. A woman shouts at her granddaughter on the street: "Cancel him!" Everyone blames him for something.

Still, Francella plays Miguel as down but never out. When he comforts his surrogate child, a goldfish, with baby talk and air kisses as he makes his escape from Buenos Aires, he's humiliated and scared, but never defeated.

The film parodies fame through Miguel's character, but it also questions people's credulity and loyalty to TV prognosticators in the form of Luis, who seems to find comfort from a difficult life in Miguel's celebrity. Meanwhile, the smarmy network producer rationally justifies all manner of unscrupulous decisions. There's also some regional humor in the way the locals in Miguel's native Córdoba revel in him sticking it to the snooty folks in Buenos Aires.

When Miguel lands at his daughter's house and the story turns more sentimental, it lags a little. Likewise, the third act requires a complete suspension of disbelief with its magical and then apocalyptic overtones. But that's okay, we still want the rogue-with-a-heart to triumph. As the live band sings at the show's opening, in lyrics he of course wrote himself, "He's arrived -- Miguel! Miguel has arrived!"


Read the full review at Common Sense Media.


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