Sunday, August 12, 2012

THE AURA (2005) - Fabián Bielinsky

You might think a movie about an epileptic taxidermist who accidentally shoots a man while on a hunting trip and tries to cover it up would already have enough going on in it. Not so. The same guy also likes to dream up (but never execute) elaborate heists in his spare time. The aforementioned hunting mishap gives him the opportunity to finally execute one with a previously assembled plan and crew. As you can probably guess, his epilepsy will come into play somewhere during the big job. His skill at stuffing and animating animal hides, less so.

The above might sound a little overwrought, but thanks to Argentine director Bielinsky's measured, contemplative style (Kubrick-like in spots) the whole thing works remarkably well. Bielinsky also did the fantastic Nine Queens, another fine neo-noir. Unfortunately, he died after this film, but the two he left behind are well worth any crime lover's time.

Canine lovers take note: The Aura contains one of the best dog performances I've ever seen, a wolfhound that is deadly serious, very Method, basically he Brando of Dog Actors. Or maybe the Meryl Streep (just checked, the dog's name in the credits is "Eva").

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