Paul Mescal is in fighting form to power the dark opera “Carmen.”
The Oscar nominee stars alongside “Scream VI” breakout Melissa Barrera in the modern update of the beloved opera. Directed by “Black Swan” choreographer Benjamin Millepied, the film debuted at TIFF 2022.
“The Revenant” writer Alexander Dinelaris, “Girl Interrupted” writer Lisa Loomer and Loïc Barrere collaborated on the screenplay. Barrera plays the title character, Elsa Pataky and Rossy de Palma also star. Emmy Award-winning composer Nicholas Britell (“Succession”) is writing the score.
According to the official synopsis, “Carmen” follows a young and fiercely independent woman who is forced to leave her home in the Mexican desert due to the brutal murder of her mother, another powerful and mysterious woman. Carmen (Barrera) survives a terrifying and dangerous illegal border crossing into the United States, only to be confronted by an illegal volunteer border guard who murders two other immigrants in his group in cold blood. When the border guard and fellow patrolman Aidan (Mescal), a Marine with PTSD, are involved in a deadly confrontation, Carmen and Aidan are forced to escape together. They head north to Los Angeles in search of Carmen’s mother’s best friend, the mercurial Masilda (De Palma) and owner of La Sombra nightclub, a sanctuary of music and dance. Carmen and Aidan find solace and their unwavering love for each other in the safety of Masilda’s magical haven, but time is running out as a police manhunt approaches.
David Ehrlich of IndieWire applauded Mescal and Barrera’s commitment, writing, “When ‘Carmen’ puts the two leads together, anything seems possible. Mescal may not be a trained dancer, but he’s too good an actor for that to matter; he moves with the militaristic physicality of an ex-soldier, radiating a strength that turns into love before our eyes. A moonlit ballet between Aidan and Carmen finds this singular film at its best: a vivid expression of belonging in a cruel and hostile world that urges people to flee while hopelessly stripping them of any place to land.”
“Carmen” opens in select markets on April 21 on Sony Pictures Classics, followed by a nationwide release in May 2023. Check out the trailer below.
To see all of Mescal’s upcoming roles, click here.