• Golden Globe Awards

Nobody Knows I’m Here (Chile)

This Chilean entry for the Golden Globes is an odd movie that defies categorization.
Memo Garrido (Jorge Garcia – whom many viewers will recognize from the hit TV seriesLost) was a child artist in the Latin music industry in the early ‘90s. Decades later, he is living in semi-seclusion in southern Chile, with his uncle Braulio (Luis Gnecco). The pair is, to all intents and purposes, cut off from the world.
The movie is directed by Gaspar Antillo and for reasons which the filmmakers choose not to explain, Memo has a penchant for breaking into people’s homes. He appears to be on the autism spectrum, but this is not explicit. He rarely speaks and goes out of his way to avoid people or be in any way sociable. Memo tends his uncle’s sheep by day and by night he frequently dresses up in flashy outfits he has made himself and performs before an audience of one. He may have fled from fame into this strange seclusion, but he still yearns to perform and dress up.
Eventually, the reason for his retreat is revealed: when he was young, he auditioned for a sleazy manager who loved his voice but not how he looked. “This is about more than music,” the manager tells the overweight Memo, implying that teenage girls might like the music, but won’t buy the total package. Instead, he hires a more conventionally handsome young man to lip-sync to Memo’s voice for the hit song “Nobody Knows I’m Here.” Memo’s dreams of fame are shattered because as the song also implies, no one knows those are his vocals.
The unexpected appearance of Marta (Millaray Lobos) changes Memo’s world forever and forces him to face the confusing incident that destroyed his career. Braulio is brutally attacked, forcing Memo to go to the mainland for help. Being among crowds traumatizes him anew. Gradually Marta gets him to sing again and records him, posts the song on YouTube and bringing his past out of the woodwork once again.
Nobody Knows I’m Here is long and ponderous and takes forever to make its point about what a cruel mistress fame is, and that beauty is more than skin deep.