Fourteen Things That Haunt Me, from most intense to least:
1. the birth scene…
2. the beach scene…
3. Trying to park the giant family car in the narrow driveway
4. Taxidermied dog heads on wall of the country house
5. Group martial arts demo with guru who stands on one leg
6. Solo nude martial arts demo
7. Dad taking the bookcases, leaving the books
8. All the dog shit in the driveway
9. Department store confrontation between Cleo and Fermín during a riot
10. Fermin going to the bathroom and never returning
11. Father going on a “business trip” and never returning
12. Mom calmly explaining to the kids that father has left
13. Drunken new year’s forest fire
14. The pried-in references to previous Cuarón movies
It’s been a month since I saw this, so I should finally rouse myself into writing something down.
All I knew about the director going in was that his last movie, Nine Queens, was remade as the underrated Criminal, and that after El Aura (only his second feature as director) he died of a heart attack.
This was a fine little genre film (crime/suspense being the genre) but really nothing special. Starting out with the lead character waking up from an epileptic seizure, then in the next scene showing him to be interested in planning “the perfect crime”… you don’t suppose he’ll plan the perfect crime then have a seizure in the middle of it, do ya? So the movie doesn’t strive for unpredictability, but instead it follows this nobody of a character (a not-socially-brilliant taxidermist) as he gets in over his head. The standout parts for me were the setup (our guy accidentally kills the man who was planning a heist, then assumes his identity, in a town where nobody knows who he really is) and ending (taxidermist is back in his normal life, the lone and unsuspected survivor of the totally botched robbery, and all he brought back with him is the original dead man’s dog). Side plots include the seizure thing and our guy’s never-acted-upon desire to save all the abused women he meets. Movie has a really good atmosphere, planting us in a peaceful, wooded hunting town. Was a pleasant viewing experience then. Whatever.