EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|OSSOS (BONES) (director/writer: Pedro Costa; cinematographer: Emmanuel Machuel; editor: Jackie Bastide; cast: Vanda Duarte (Clotilde), Nuno Vaz (The Father), Mariya Lipkina (Tina), Isabel Ruth (Eduarda), Inês de Medeiros (Whore), Miguel Sermão (Clotilde's Husband), Berta Susana Teixeira (Nurse); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paulo Branco; Criterion Collection; 1997-Portugal-in Portuguese with English subtitles)|
you're willing to go with the haunting misery done up in an aesthetic
way and with conviction, this well-framed pic should do the trick."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa ("In Vanda's
Room"/"Colossal Youth"/"Casa De
Lava") directs the first leg of
his transformative trilogy about Lisbon's impoverished outskirt slum
section called Fontainhas. It was shot in 35 mm. Every character is sullen and suffers from
a case of severe depression, as we follow their morbid every day lives.
These craven souls smoke
cigarettes, shoot heroin, and can't manage to properly care for their
newborn infant. At first the
film is enigmatic, failing to follow a narrative and more interested in
taking tracking shots of the slum and its inhabitants. It follows its
masculine looking female lead Clotilde (Vanda Duarte), who is stripped
of all psychological responses and seems to have no inner being; but,
then its slight narrative kicks in and we are shown how the suicidal teen Tina (Mariya
Lipkina), Clotilde's best
friend, gives her baby to her deadbeat boyfriend (Nuno
Vaz) and how a concerned nurse Eduarda (Isabel Ruth), the most sympathetic figure in the pic,
has the neglected baby treated in the hospital. Then the wretched
father of the baby tries to hawk it in the streets of Lisbon and on a
de Medeiros) he just met, who
can't stand him but is taken in by the vulnerable infant. In the end, we see the pic is about young
people who have children but can't handle the responsibility and the
filmmaker is telling us the same thing that the sociologists are
forever telling us about the unfit impoverished who lead desperate
lives of survival.
The film is so gloomy it should really bum
you out. But if you're willing to go with the haunting misery done up in an aesthetic
way and with conviction, this well-framed pic should do the trick.
It was given a prize at Venice.
REVIEWED ON 5/7/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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