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Chekhov in contemporary Argentina. Mecha and Gregorio are at their rundown country place near La Ciénaga with their teen children. It's hot. The adults drink constantly; Mecha cuts herself, engendering a trip to the hospital and a visit from her son José. A cousin, Tali, brings her children. The kids are on their own, sunbathing by the filthy pool, dancing in town, running in the hills with shotguns, driving cars without licenses. One of the teen girls loves Isabel, a family servant constantly accused of stealing. Mother and son, son and sisters, teen and Isabel are in each other's beds and bathrooms with a creepy intimacy. With no adults paying attention, who's at risk? Written by
This film is such an incredible gift, it seems obscene to even write a review of it. Some things should be listened to and experienced and not talked about, and this is one of them.
Along those lines, of witnessing the sacred, I found that this film is the closest thing you're ever going to get to a film adaptation of "One Hundred Years of Solitude." If you love that book as much as I do, you will be very grateful for this film. It is the ultimate, and I mean, the ultimate summer movie.
Speaking specifically, the dialog is just awesome (and I don't even speak Spanish -- it translates) and the sound design and set design deserve special praise, because directors that understand how important these are... well, that's the mark of a master. Unfortunately, this director's two follow-up films were a disappointment. Too much Pedro Almodovar money and meddling, I guess.
Thank you Lucrecia Martel! I will enjoy second and third and sixth viewings of this one.
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