Talking Pictures

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Mount Bayo / Cerro Bayo

Posted by keith1942 on April 1, 2011

Inez and Lucas

Bradford International Film Festival, 2011.

Argentina 2010, in colour, 86 minutes. Directed by Victoria Galardi. 

Mount Bayo is set in Patagonia and the town is the base for s ski-resort in season. The Festival Brochure described it as a ‘droll, sharply-observed chronicle of family lives’. The family in question is that of Juana (Adela Gleijer) who at the start of the film attempts suicide by gassing herself. She is found and hospitalised, but is now suffering from brain damage. Her daughter Marta (Adriana Barraza) and he husband Eduardo have to cope with this catastrophe, and care for their two teenage offspring. Lucas works at the local ski-resort whilst Inez (Ines Effron) is still at school. Marta’s sister Mercedes (Veronica Llinas) travels from Buenos Aires to join the family.

Marta is the most sympathetic character as she worries over and cares for her comatosed mother. The rest of the family are consumed by personal pre-occupations. Mercedes is in debt and happens to hear that Juana may have won at the local Casino. Eduardo is hoping to sell of a valuable plot of land that actually belongs to Juana. Lucas needs two thousand Euros in order to take part in a European ski championship. Inez wishes to win the contest for the winter season Queen of the resort.

The characters fret, and occasionally confide in each other whilst they [like dogs] sniff the various prospects. These become slightly complicated by two other characters. Romy, a past passion of Mercedes now a solicitor. And Paquito, who sells flowers at the local cemetery where Juana’s husband is buried.

The changing positions of the characters are rather like a complicated quadrille and achieve a continuing fascination. Despite the rather macabre situation there are moments of real humour.

The plot developments are somewhat predictable, and never become completely ironic. The ending is partly ambiguous.

 

The production values are good and the settings are attractive. The film is good enough to absorb and enjoy.

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