Blow. 2001. USA. Directed by Ted Demme. With Penélope Cruz, Johnny Depp. 35mm. 124 min.
Director Ted Demme charts the rise and inevitable fall of George Jung, the cocaine kingpin who moved drugs from Colombia to the US for Pablo Escobar. After years of dealing pot in California, a stint in jail expands George’s horizons; as he puts it, “I went in with a bachelor’s of marijuana and came out with a doctorate in cocaine.” As the 1970s become the ’80s, the glitz gives way to dysfunction as the feds start to close in. Cruz plays Mirtha Jung, George’s wildly glamorous, coked-out wife, as a perfect symbol of ’70s excess, in what was her most high-profile American film at the time (just a few months before the release of Vanilla Sky).