DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

VIOLA (director/writer: Matías Piñeiro; cinematographer: Fernando Lockett; editor:  Alejo Moguillansky; music:  John Aylward/Julián Tello; cast: María Villar (Viola), Agustina Muñoz (Cecilia), Elisa Carricajo (Sabrina), Romina Paula (Ruth), Gabriela Saidón (Gabi), Laura Paredes (Laura), Esteban Bigliardi (Javier), Julián Tello (Gastón), Julia Martínez Rubio (Juliana); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Melanie Schapiro; Cinema Guild.; 2012-Argentina-in Spanish with English subtitles)

"Much like the way Jacques Rivette does it for the French, Piñeiro does it for the Argentinians."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The thirty-something director-writer Matías Piñeiro ("They All Lie"/"The Stolen Man") is one of Argentina's promising new voices. His third feature revisits Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by imaginative changes to the Bard's play making it uniquely modern, as a young all-female cross-dressing bohemian indie community troupe is performing in a small theater.

The titular character Viola (Maria Villar) is a recent college grad who delivers on bike throughout Buenos Aires bootleg DVDs downloaded from the Internet by her enterprising boyfriend Javier (Esteban Bigliardi), who runs this small-time profitable pirating racket. While making a delivery Viola meets Cecilia (Agustina Muñoz) and accepts an invite to watch her all-female production of a Shakespeare classic, who plays Viola--also someone madly in love and living a spirited life.

The slight plot gives the Shakespearean actresses a chance to perform onstage, be seen rehearsing and freely talking backstage about their real-life love life fears while comparing it with the Bard's view on it on stage.

It's a small but satisfying well-grounded achievement, as a raw urban film about young female adults feeling their oats and being playfully captured onscreen by Piñeiro. Much like the way Jacques Rivette does it for the French, Piñeiro does it for the Argentinians.

REVIEWED ON 3/24/2014       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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