Wild Tales

This one is a real blast. It’s the funniest film you’ll ever see, that opens with an achingly serious, revenge crashing of a jet liner full of people. I know…it’s perilously close to a recent real world situation where that actually happened. But this is so skillfully done, and the Argentinian writer/director for “Wild Tales” is not Nostradamus, but the multi-talented Damian Szifron. Try to imagine Quentin Tarantino, mixed with Rod Serling, and filtered through Pedro Almodovar (maybe not coincidentally, one of the producers here), and maybe you’ll have some idea of what you’re in for here. It’s dark as pitch and freaking hilarious. Maybe the best time I’ve had watching a movie in 2015.

A loan shark is served a very special meal, from a waitress at a roadside diner. A driver of a fancy car, instantly regrets flipping off the occupant of a slow vehicle on a deserted road. A frustrated demolitions expert has had enough with his city’s corrupt towing policies. A wealthy man tries to coerce a long time employee to take the “heat” for a family member. And a freshly minted bride, enacts sweet and sour revenge, on one of her husband’s invited wedding guests. Including the plane crash introduction, that’s six audacious “wild tales” total. Don’t claim you haven’t been warned!

“Wild Tales” was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film earlier this year, at the 87th Annual Academy Awards–losing eventually to Poland’s “Ida”. There’s little surprise that the Argentine film fell to such a dour and serious work–but I admired them equally. Different styles, different tones–two distinct and marvelous results. Want more proof? When it was released in Argentina last year, “Wild Tales” rapidly became the country’s most popular motion picture of all time. Recognizable names? Ricardo Darin (from Argentina’s Oscar-winning “The Secrets in Their Eyes”, from 2009) plays Simon the demolitions expert in the 4th tale. And the fantastic Erica Rivas (from Francis Ford Coppola’s under appreciated “Tetro”, also from 2009), is Romina the bride in the final story. “Wild Tales” looks great, and the screenplay is sharp as a razor. I love it.

Grade:  A



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