Hilliard is a 2018 American Spanish dramedy film written by Boris Izaguirre and Alejandro Amenábar directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon starring Anna Faris, Paz Vega, Jessica Rothe, Enrique Iglesias, John Leguizamo, Mark Consuelos, Shakira Ripoll, Tyler Posey, Bella Thorne, Pilar Bardem, Fred Willard and Benicio Del Toro.
The film was shot and is set in Madrid, Spain and the Skid Row suburb of Downtown Los Angeles, California. It concerns a wayward American prostitute who returns to Madrid following a traumatic event to rekindle her with large American-Spanish family who are in disarray and who are disconnected from one another, as their single mother's mental state worsens. A supporting plot vice concerns the protagonist meeting an American girl in her home city of a similar predicament.
The film was a commercial and critical success, following it's premiere at the Sundance and Spanish Film Festival on April 18th, 2018 and then theatrically on May 17th, 2018.
The film received six golden globe nominations securing four wins for Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress: Pilar Bardem, Best Actress: Faris, Best Cinematography and Best Score. It secured four academy award nominations all for the same categories and won three for Best Actress: Faris, Best Cinematography and score. BAFTA wins also went to Bardem, Faris, the cinematography, score, Rothe and nominations for Picture and Posey.
The film is divided into plot sections that correspond with a family funeral service holding culminating in a epilogue wake.
Despertar - Wake
Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles prostitute Aitana cleans off blood, semen and dirt at her two room apartment shared with fellow prostitute Sarah who is close to the age of her youngest sister, she leaves the apartment to her after standing outside the local police precinct considering making a report. She packs for Madrid, Spain using all of her saved money to book a flight, Sarah offers her stolen cocaine before she leaves but she dismisses her revealing she does imbibe alcohol nor narcotics.
Once in Madrid she discovers that her mother is living alone without any of her siblings in a sub-standard Madrid slum home. She delays visiting her first till she reconnects with her siblings. She encounters an American girl Elaine Douglas from Florida who ran away from home to come and stay with her cousin Beth who lives with her Hispanic fiance in Madrid.
Aitana first comes across her brother Jordi who is a waiter whilst studying online to be chiropractor whilst living with a bisexual bartender Luis who is a constant womanizer and whom Jordi has developed a crush for. Jordi reveals that he was the last sibling to remain living with their domineering mother Angelines who was diagnosed as defective schizophrenic.
Jordi offers Aitana to find the others. Eldest sister Gina is now married to an older man Timon who is a barrister and a very kind man with a passion for stand up comedy. Gina tries to rebuff the two but ultimately has to have the two for dinner as Timon comes home from work to invite them. Joining them for dinner also is Gina's social services work friend Alario Salvia and his wife Elene. Gina is having an affair with Alario and after an argument with Aitana throws her and Jordi out as Jordi catches the two and relays the two's liasion to Aitana.
The two then share a solemn moment at the playground entitled Hilliard they all used to be brought to by their parents. Jordi tries to avert Aitana from rendezvousing with brother Oscar who like Jordi was also kicked out and the was third, following Aitana and Gina to leave the family house. Oscar lives with their father Anthony who abandoned them's younger brother Landa who resides in a drug house and who he is peddling drugs for along with his rich girlfriend Carmen Santruzzi. Aitana goes alone to meet with Oscar and Carmen outside of the house catching them during a transaction, Jordi returns to his bar and attempts to seduce Luis who for once has not brought a woman home and who is drunk and upset, it does not work and Jordi announces he is moving out, when asked by Luis where he'll go, he states home.
Tanatorio - Funeral
Problems arise as Oscar is arrested and she is forced along with girlfriend Carmen to acquire the money and post his bail. Carmen tries to gain the money from Placido Gracia a pimp and local stripclub manager who was her boss when she operated as a stripper when she ran away from her villa home with Oscar and dropped school. Uncle Landa offers no help to Carmen and Aitana in the issue, Aitana and Landa almost come to a physical altercation and outside Placido's club Carmen's younger sister Kino is waiting. Kino pleas with Carmen to come home and an argument initiates between the two. Aitana pulls up a rental and waits outside the Santruzzi residence as the money is taken from the family trust as Kino leads Carmen inside. Before they arrive at the Madrid station to reclaim Oscar Placido and his men arrive to accost Carmen for claiming his money for herself without planning to repay.
Carmen and Kino are almost both accosted by Placido's men but Aitana surprises the two attacking men with a wooden board and seriously beating Placido with her own bare hands.
Jordi comes to a convent and picks up his youngest sister Victoria who is struggling making the final transition into taking her vows despite having lived out of the convent upon her move and finding solace with her faith. Jordi consoles her and drives her home. Aitana shares a moment with Oscar as he is released however the moment is diminished by Carmen respectfully trying to announce to him that it is over and time for them both to go home, she leaves an engagement ring with him and departs with Kino, Kino leaves in shock after the earlier attack and Carmen thanks Aitana for what she had done.
Oscar leaves the station and before Aitana can leave she is asked to write up on Placido and his men who have been checked into the local hospital.
Jordi and Victoria arrive at Angelines and are met with positivity and embrace much to Jordi's confusion and Victoria's delight.
Aitana spends the next few hours paying for drinks and spending time at Jordi's bar to club hopping with Elaine who she re-encounters at the corner she had met her before. It is revealed that she is not in fact staying with her cousin Beth, as she had committed suicide the year prior a result of manic depression and that her fiance had neglected to her and cheated on her profusely. Aitana offers Elaine to stay with her tonight at her mothers.
Oscar arrives at Gina's and argues with her on what she has been doing which culminates in him becoming sick and leaving. Before Gina can go out to him Timon who has awoke is informed by her in confession of the affair. She is asked to leave and she remarks that the only bad joke he has is her. Outside Oscar enters drug induced cardiac arrest in the gutter. The paramedics are called and Gina accompanies him to the hospital.
Jordi and Victoria discuss religion and his sexuality prompting both Victoria and Angelines to gang up on him as they all share a glass of wine and smoke outside until Angelines has a random meltdown accusing both of being out to get her leading her to throw the wine bottle against the house, a heavy argument then breaks out between Jordi and the neighbors and Victoria enters a state of shock.
Aitana and Elaine en route to Angelines stop at her cousin Beth's and prepare to confront the fiance, Elaine can't bring herself to do it however reminding Aitana of how at the beginning she could not come into the police station. Elaine considers damaging the yard he had worked on more than his marriage to her cousin and then turning tricks so she can build up the money to leave Spain. Aitana wards her off both ideas and the two get back in the rental to continue to Angelines.
At the hospital Oscar reveals upon regaining consciousness to Gina that his descent into drug use was a result of his own diagnosis of their mother's condition following Gina's abandonment. He claims he is ready to forgive Angelines.
Entierro - Burial
The family all recommunes at Angelines at a family dinner prepared by Jordi as Victoria is still in a state of panic. Angelines tells the story of her marriage yet again, drinks excessively and ends up in a physical altercation with Oscar as he tries to restrain her. She sustains a cut lip and outside talks with Aitana regarding her leaving due to her welcoming her father Anthony back into the house with his con artist friends and him and her causing her at the time fiance, a boyfriend Palomon she had been with her entire life and was meant to move to the United States with to leave. The drama of the earlier attack between Oscar and Angelines led Victoria to leave and Elaine to head upstairs. All of the family's problems surface in arguments and Elaine becomes angered and wishes to leave learning that Oscar is a drug addict and dealer, and that both he and Angelines suffer from mental illness. The cops are briefly called and sent off by Gina.
As Aitana finds that Elaine has left, Victoria is brought back by Gina who runs after her, Victoria reveals that part of what prompted her to leave most was Gina being her role model and how when she moved on to the wealthy husband and heavenly lifestyle she did not even remain in contact with her. Victoria finally begins speaking again with Oscar forgiving him for on his descent into drugs taking up with her former lifelong best friend Carmen. Oscar gives Victoria Carmen's number.
As the group gather and prevent Aitana from leaving to instantly pursue Elaine they notice Angelines has gone up to the up the street corner store not far Hilliard Park, revealed to be close to their mother's new residence and that her new living situation was an opted choice despite her seeming to be in a state of poverty and her mental illness getting the better of her.
At the corner store the clerk and Angelines strike up a conversation and Angelines waits on the kids' father. Anthony appears a brief hallucination to her that the rest of her children cannot see. They all bring Angelines back to the house and put her down to sleep. Jordi sneaks off following to have sex with a young gay friend of his who is recently single and on a gay dating app. The two have sex and Jordi receives a call from Luis. The two talk as his hook up Maure sleeps and Luis reveals he has to see him tomorrow, and that he too has feelings for him, Jordi ends the call by telling him he'll talk to him tomorrow.
Victoria, Gina and Oscar all come down the road together to Hilliard Park and are met by Oscar shortly thereafter. They discuss their plans to remain in contact but not to move home, just keep the care they can spare for their mother, whether Aitana will return after seeking out her friend and visiting their father's grave, that choking on your own vomit is a horrible way to die.
Aitana reaches Elaine once again at her corner but instead of inviting her back provides her with the remainder of the money she had saved from her prostitution. She tells Elaine it was for a return flight to America if she ever wanted it but she now will decide to stay, as that time is over. Aitana emotionally with a smile tells her that as a prostitute in the slum of Skid Row, California she was eventually raped, beaten and left face down in the dirt by gang bangers, five of which and backed out of making the report to the police following. She tells her her lifelong boyfriend from up adolescence to her early twenties was not scared off by her crazy mother and father but rather the combined fact he was cheating on her and took off with his new polished lover. With that and her parents' last attack on her life she fled and eventually booked a flight to California with money that was saved for her and her fiance to go together.
Aitana then returns to the house and makes up the upstairs room Elaine was meant to stay in, revealed to be her room as from her luggage she returns her stuff to it's bedside drawers and photos to it's walls.
Credits pass over the family photos that are restored to it's walls, the final photo Hilliard Park, Aitana and her siblings are young children with both their parents also with them in the picture.
- Anna Faris as Aitana Montiel
- Paz Vega as Gina Fatorres-Montiel
- Jessica Rothe as Elaine Douglas
- Enrique Iglesias as Jordi Montiel
- John Leguizamo as Landa Montiel
- Mark Consuelos as Luis Botto
- Shakira Ripoll as Carmen Santruzzi
- Tyler Posey as Oscar Montiel
- Bella Thorne as Victoria Montiel
- Pilar Bardem as Angelines Montiel
- Fred Willard as Anthony Montiel
- Benicio Del Toro as Placido Gracia
- Elsa Pataky as Lena Ives
- Victoria Abril as Elene Salvia
- Alex Gonzalez as Alario Salvia
- Gabino Diego as Timon Fatorres
- Astrid Berges-Frisbey as Kino Santruzzi
- Santiago Segura as Wuva 'Wasp' Wuerrez
- Martino Rivas as Maure
- Juan Diego Botta as Jeltie