Directed by Alicia Scherson
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This “excitingly unclassifiable” foreign import takes turns you never expect, said John Oursler in The Village Voice. In a story set in Rome and based on a Roberto Bolaño novel, a teenager is forced to care for her younger brother after the sudden deaths of their parents, and grief clouds her judgment as she allows two hangers-on into the family’s flat and agrees to assist them in a bid to fleece an elderly blind man. “What feels at first like a coming-of-age story takes on apocalyptic and noirish undertones,” then shifts mood once more. The blind man is a former Mr. Universe, and the great Rutger Hauer “plays him like lightning sans thunder: When he moves, he is a force of nature,” said Gabe Toro in Indiewire.com. Hauer and Manuela Martelli fall together like animals, and Chilean director Alicia Scherson makes those scenes erotic but not vulgar—“something of a novelty in today’s art-house cinema.” One could complain that Scherson’s style “values mood over information,” said Jeannette Catsoulis in The New York Times. Still, that style is “the perfect vehicle” for a portrait of damaged souls in crisis.
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