This story begins when Jose finds out that Nora, the woman he'd been married to for 30 years and then divorced, has committed suicide. The rabbi explains to Jose that due to the celebration... See full summary »
A lyrical yet forceful version of contemporary women's lives
Las Buenas Hierbas directed by Maria Novaro repeats a theme becoming somewhat commonplace in contemporary cinema: the relationship between mother and daughter, especially when daughtering has to become mothering. This film is untidy, certainly, but also lyrical and persuasive, with competent and convincing acting in the principal roles. The director has structured the script into chapters, with pauses between characterized by semi-still, semi-animated images from ancient herbal dictionaries, lending a historical and intellectual air to the story which matches the personality, fast deteriorating, of the mother. Woven into the main plot which describes in a number of both brilliantly scripted and improvised scenes how "young" sufferers from Alzheimers disease tend to fail fast, are several subplots dealing with a neighbor's desperate regret that she was unable to shield her granddaughter, portrayed as a ghostly permanent quinceanera, from murder; the daughter Dalia (beautifully played by Ursula Pruneda)and her casual affair with a very young acquaintance -- which seems irrelevant, except perhaps to emphasize her natural vitality, her lack of scruples despite her interest in the socio-political world around (emphasized also through the critical broadcasts at the independent radio station where she works). One might argue for a tighter script and more stringent editing; but the delicacy and forcefulness of the central characterizations reveal an unfortunate truth that will affect more and more of us -- especially women, especially daughters, as we age.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?