Grading stacks of student papers has got me behind on my reading. I glance with yearning now and then to my TBR shelf. And I sneak in a few chapters of a book I'd much rather be giving full time to - Richard Wheeler's Snowbound, which just won the Spur Award for Short Novel.
So for something of a change today, I'm going way south of the border to Argentina for capsule reviews of some crime films I've seen. I know that many readers here like crime fiction even more than westerns, so as a public service I offer the following for your consideration.
Keeping a tight lid on a volcano of rage, he rarely betrays what he's thinking or feeling. Intent on doing the right thing for his daughter, his choices are unexpected and surprising. The end when it comes is a violent act of vengeance that's had at least one reviewer call this film an "urban western."
A kind of odd-couple buddy film, its pairing of Gastón Pauls and Ricardo Darín is continually fascinating as the high-stakes alliance between them keeps evolving.
Thus begins an escapade full of deceit, danger, and increasingly high stakes, all complicated by the main character's epileptic condition that produces seizures at inopportune moments. In one brilliant scene, we stand across the street watching as an elaborate robbery takes place. This was the last film by Bielinsky, who died in 2006.
She is now a judge, who joins him in an attempt to uncover what promises to be long-buried secrets that date back to the oppressive military dictatorship of the 1970s. Won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 2009.
Things go from bad to worse as they fill their time with drugs and prostitutes. Two of the men are lovers. This heated mix produces a good deal of steam, and when the federales finally close in, it's a blood bath the likes of which may have you reaching for the remote. Definitely one you need to be in the right mood for. Crime not only doesn't pay. It gets really weird.
Look for them all at netflix.
Coming up: Richard Wheeler, Snowbound