Carmen is a 2022 musical drama film directed by Benjamin Millepied in his feature directorial debut. The film stars Melissa Barrera as Carmen, a young and fiercely independent woman who is forced to flee her home in the Mexican desert following the brutal murder of her mother. Carmen survives a terrifying and dangerous illegal border crossing into the US, only to be confronted by a lawless volunteer border guard who cold-bloodedly murders two other immigrant travelers in her group. When the border guard and his patrol partner Aidan (Paul Mescal) become embroiled in a deadly standoff, Carmen and Aidan are forced to escape together. They make their way north toward Los Angeles in search of Carmen’s mother’s best friend, the mercurial Masilda (Rossy de Palma) and owner of La Sombra nightclub – a sanctuary of music and dance. Carmen and Aidan find both solace and their unwavering love for each other in the safety of Masilda’s magical refuge, but time runs out as the police hunt closes in.
Concerns: Languagem Some Violence, Nudity
Runtime: 1h 56m
Genre: Drama, Musical, Dance
Original Language: English, Spanish
Release Date (US Theaters): April 21, 2023 Limited
Melissa Barrera as Carmen
Paul Mescal as Aidan
Rossy de Palma as Masilda
Tracy “The DOC” Curry
Production & Crew
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Production Co: Sony Pictures Classics, Chapter 2, Goalpost Pictures
Director(s): Benjamin Millepied
Producer(s): Rosemary Blight, Dimitri Rassam, Mimi Valdés
Writer(s): Loïc Barrere, Alexander Dinelaris, Lisa Loomer, Prosper Mérimée, Alexander Dinelaris
Carmen isn’t a film; it’s a dance piece with a storyline.
The film was written by Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Loïc Barrère, and Millepied. It is based on the 1845 novella of the same name by Prosper Mérimée. The film’s score was composed by Nicholas Britell. It contains multiple styles of dance, including ballet, modern, flamenco and krumping.
Carmen premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2022, and it earned $565,080 at the box office after release by Sony Pictures Classics.
The film has been praised for its timely and relevant story about immigration and violence on the US-Mexico border. The film also features strong performances from Barrera, Mescal, and de Palma. The film’s score by Britell is also a highlight.
Overall, Carmen is a well-made and powerful film that tells a timely and relevant story by uniquely interweaving music and dance.