Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far 13 Cult Films About Cults 13 Cult Films About Cults The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

L.A. Film Fest Reviews: 'The Bad Intentions' Is A Brilliant & Funny Coming Of Age Story

The Playlist By James Rocchi | The Playlist June 20, 2011 at 3:27AM

'The Fatherless' Is Well-Shot And Competent, But Little MoreAnnouncing a great new voice in the world of cinema, Rosario Garcia-Montero's "The Bad Intentions" is a brilliant coming-of-age story that's funny, subtle, touching, and one of the best films of the year. Growing up in a bourgeois house in 1981 Lima, 8 year old Cayetana de la Heros spends a lot of time with herself. She is perhaps the most morose little girl seen on screen in a long time, idolizing Peruvian independence heroes from the past, focusing in particular on how they met their end. She finds out that her mother is pregnant with another child and somehow decides that the day the new child is born is the day she is going to die (she isn't planning suicide, she just thinks that this will inevitably happen).
2

'The Fatherless' Is Well-Shot And Competent, But Little More



Announcing a great new voice in the world of cinema, Rosario Garcia-Montero's "The Bad Intentions" is a brilliant coming-of-age story that's funny, subtle, touching, and one of the best films of the year. Growing up in a bourgeois house in 1981 Lima, 8 year old Cayetana de la Heros spends a lot of time with herself. She is perhaps the most morose little girl seen on screen in a long time, idolizing Peruvian independence heroes from the past, focusing in particular on how they met their end. She finds out that her mother is pregnant with another child and somehow decides that the day the new child is born is the day she is going to die (she isn't planning suicide, she just thinks that this will inevitably happen).

The film succeeds on the shoulders of young actress Fatima Buntix who gives a beautifully natural performance. Buntix and Garcia-Montero make Cayetana a three-dimensional human being way beyond the Wednesday Addams shtick she could have easily been; even though she treats her mother badly most of the time, she can't resist singing a song on guitar with her. She idolizes her rambunctious father but doesn't hate her stepfather and has a wonderful relationship with her cousin, though, like any child, she can also be incredibly selfish, highlighted by an episode in which she places the blame for her actions on an innocent housekeeper.

Dream sequences are delved into sporadically at first but more frequently as the film goes on. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Rodrigo Pulpeiro with simple, poetic metaphors, like the rest of the "Bad Intentions" these moments have a wonderful sense of humor about themselves.

Lurking in the background of the story are the attacks of communist guerrilla group The Shining Path. The film could very well work as an allegory for feelings of ambivalence towards an uncertain future, but it's just another layer to the story, and even if you're not up on Peruvian history, there is still much to enjoy. Emphasizing humanism over politics, "Bad Intentions" impresses and the final scene which finds Cayetana dealing with death in an unexpected way could very well put a tear in your eye. [A]

"The Fatherless"
The death of a patriarch is always ripe material for a dysfunctional family drama, but what sets Austrian director Marie Kreutzer's debut feature "The Fatherless" apart is that her father figure wasn't the head of a 'normal' type of family. Instead, he was the leader of a sexually liberated commune with '60s ideals about freedom. "He kind of forced us to be free," one character muses. Now grown up, his children struggle with how their past has shaped their lives. To her credit, Kreutzer reveals the abnormalities of their upbringing very naturally. Referenced casually and further explained in detail when the right moment in time arises, the way these characters grapple with their history feels organic rather than dramatically forced.

What follows is a well-acted, competent movie that unfortunately is not altogether very surprising or interesting. It makes the big mistake of making the largest story arc a mystery from the past that everyone knows about except for one character. It's drawn out and when the reveal finally arrives, the effect on the characters is not as important as the film seems to think it is. The best moments are the flashbacks to the days of the commune, impressionistically shot from the point of view of whoever is remembering, sometimes the camera will linger in slow motion on a really striking image or moment in time, allowing us to feel the weight and significance of the memory.

Though Kreutzer is a fine technician, nothing about the narrative structure, the dialogue or the story is particularly memorable. And while beautifully lensed, the film never quite builds or delivers the punch it wants to. [B-]

This article is related to: Review


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates