Monday, December 6, 2010

La mujer sin cabeza

Like Candace Hilligoss emerging from the water to a world of which she no longer feels a part, Martel's similarly glacial heroine Veró (María Onetto) leaves a road accident disoriented and disconnected. The main question – who was the other party involved – is in fact a Haneke-like enigma on which to hang a quietly furious satire of middle-class smugness, self-preservation and ethical depravity, as husband and brother efficiently take care of the details, in patronising, soothing tones. The film is largely shot to chime with Veró's unsettled pov, as though in a viscous dream-state; remarkable with composition and lighting, Martel and DP Bárbara Álvarez veer between self-conscious and inspired, but the film is never less than beautiful. Photography, oblique, precise direction and a narcotized but nuanced performance from Onetto add up to an intriguing but chilly whole, not least as one's sympathy for Veró is dependent entirely on how far one is prepared to forgive her.

d/sc Lucretia Martel p Lucretia Martel, Pedro Almodóvar, Marianne Slot ph Bárbara Álvarez ed Miguel Schverdfinger ad Maria Eugenia Sueiro cast María Onetto, Claudia Cantero, César Bordón, Daniel Genoud, Guillermo Arengo, Inéz Efron
(2008, Arg, 87m)
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