The Counting of the Damages* "El Recuento de los Daños" (2009)
dir. by Ines de Oliveira Cezar
Starring: Eva Bianco and Santiago Gobernori
By Blair Stewart
1. If you're making an exploration of family grief in present-day Argentina don't short-change your audience's intelligence with an unwieldy mass of head-shaking coincidences.
2. Only use a numerical chapter system in your film if each section either advances or diverges from the expectations of the previous chapter. See "Dogville" for a good example. Otherwise you might find yourself in a dark cinema praying for 'ocho' to become 'nueve'.
3. When the brother-in-law said he was an 'astrologer' was that supposed to be a joke? If so the script's sign is in Cancer.
4. Labourious non-action and detachment is a poor substitute for storytelling verve and emotional involvement.
5. I now have a better understanding of that whole 'la bronca' thing that ex-pats from Buenos Aires are always talking about.
6. You can only have so many shots of characters mournfully standing alongside waterways before one wishes for said characters to go for a swim.
7. It's nice to make a metaphor for the scars of the defunct military dicatorship but it also fills the audience with the desire to see Polanski's "Death and the Maiden" instead.
8. Whoever suggested the plinky-plonky piano score may in fact be a saboteur. Flush them out!
9. Is Argentina berefit of Zoloft?
10. As the end credit rolled I fought an immense desire to raise my arms aloft and shout out 'Pour Que?!?'.
*If you give yourself the albatross of a pretentious title you should expect the theme of a snarky review to be 'The Airing of the Grievances'.