Review: Nine Queens (Nueve Reinas)


The Story

A seasoned, but desperate con artist takes (under his wing) an equally down on his luck rookie for a day long trial run as partners.  In this city where every other person is seemingly a crook; all parties are about to learn that karma is a bitch.

Like Candy  From A Baby

Having seen and really enjoyed Bielinsky’s more recent film, The Aura, his earlier oeuvre had been on my list to watch for some time now.  It wasn’t until a co-worker reminded me by noting that this film had been very highly recommended to her that my memory was jogged and I placed it on the top of my to do list.  What a pleasant surprise.

Seeing this film after Aura, it struck me that there is a big similarity between this plot’s backbone and that of the more recent film.  A possible signature for this director.  Both films center around seemingly smart (if not a bit cocky) protagonists who’s grand plans fall apart at the last minute largely due to their own arrogance and tunnel vision.

Both films are a slow burn, but the audience members that can stick with it are rewarded in the end.  If there’s one negative I can truly heap on this film, it would be that the “twist” ending is a little hard to believe in. It still feels satisfying though.

As far as the rest of the production goes, the camera work is well handled.  This was his first feature film, having directed only 2 short films before, but Bielinsky had been working as a 1st AD for some time that that point.  It shows, the skill is definitely on display and he even throws in a couple neat showoff shots here and there.

The actors are all well cast, with mostly solid performances throughout.  There are a couple dialog deliveries that feel read, but overall the key emotional, or even the humor scenes play to their full emotional impact.  The scenes that matter, work.

If you’re like me and have already seen The Aura, then see this too.  If you’ve seen neither then you’ve got two great films to add to your watch list.


Overall a B+


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