On his 80th birthday Humberto Suárez, an ageing multi-millionaire, decides to finance a film so that people will look fondly upon his legacy. He selects the reclusive Palme d’Or laureate Lola Cuevas to be the director, with the screenplay being adapted from a Nobel Prize winning novel titled “Rivalry” about a man who is unable to forgive his brother for killing their parents in a drunk-driving accident. The two brothers are to be played by the acclaimed stage actor Iván Torres and celebrity actor Félix Rivero; Iván is a method actor who has extensively prepared his character’s past, while Félix is a more traditional Hollywood actor who finds Iván’s methods pointless.
Lola proves herself to be a highly eccentric director who makes extensive notes and requires increasingly bizarre exercises of her actors, such as forcing them to repeat single lines or words until she believes they are convincing enough, refusing to show up to rehearsals, and at one point dangling a large boulder over the heads of Iván and Félix via a crane to emulate the tension of the scene they are rehearsing. One session involves Iván and Félix being tied to chairs and forced to watch as Lola crushes their various awards in an industrial shredder, including a hand-made one that was given to Iván by students at a disabled school where he once taught.