Full confession, the Spanish film, “Truman” mirrored aspects of my personal life earlier this year as a loved one made similar life and death decisions. So I knew going in that this viewing would be difficult. But what was pleasantly surprising was that co-writer and director Cesc Gay handles this buddy film mixed with end of life themes with such authenticity and humor that I very much appreciated the ride. It’s little wonder then, that “Truman” won five Goya Awards (Spain’s Oscar equivalent) for Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Childhood friends reconnect

Living in Madrid, Julian (Ricardo Darin of the 2009 Oscar winner, “The Secret in Their Eyes”) receives a surprise visit from his childhood best friend Tomas (Javier Camara of Pedro Almodovar’s “Talk to Her”). Tomas, who now lives in Canada, has come at the request of Julian’s cousin, Paula (Dolores Fonzi) to talk sense into Julian who wants to discontinue his cancer treatment. Julian has pre-determined thoughts about the course of his life, and Tomas decides to assist Julian with his wishes. This includes finding a suitable home for his big dog, Truman.

A man, his family, and his dog, Truman

Having worked as an actor, Julian still appears nightly in a stage play and has told few people of his illness.

Julian knows, as do we all, people react very differently to those who are sick. This is both poignantly and humorously depicted on numerous occasions via Tomas and Julian’s personal and professional interactions with others. As Julian so astutely notes within the film, “Each person dies the best they can.” Gallows humor, sure, but oh, how it rings with truth.

Director Cesc Gay on his film

There aren’t a lot of male buddy pictures that spring to mind with themes of facing death. This trend veers more to the women’s genre of films like, “Terms of Endearment,” or “Beaches,” or “Miss You Already.” This makes Gay’s film all the more special. Gay explains his worthy subject matter in his film’s production notes, “’Truman" is an attempt at overcoming the panic we all feel in life when faced with illness and impending death ….

It is an exploration of how we react to the unexpected, to the unknown, to grief.” “Truman” is an entirely relatable, moving, and at times funny journey to a destination that we’re all headed to eventually. And, it’s a film worth seeking out.

"Truman" is 108 minutes, Not Rated and opens in Los Angeles and select cities on April 14.