La Mujer de Mi Hermano
Time Out says
A gorgeously shot widescreen trifle that squanders its promising Hitchcockian (or at least De Palma--esque) tension on a protracted, weirdly prudish anticlimax, Ricardo de Montreuil’s film is as sleek, fetching and vacant as its telenovela-superstar cast. Set in a deliberately anonymous upper-class Latin American suburb, La Mujer strives for biblical gravity with its story of a pair of estranged brothers—boorish womanizer Gonzalo (Cardona) and gentle prig Ignacio (Meier)—battling for the love, or at least the childbearing capabilities, of bored beauty Zoe (the luscious but listless Mori). Ignacio has the upper hand insofar as he’s married to her, but theirs is a literally sterile union—and he’s harboring an obvious secret. All conflicts are neatly resolved with the hasty revelation of said secret and a serendipitous insemination.
Besides its masterfully fluid camerawork (courtesy of cinematographer Andrs Sanchez) and De Montreuil’s initially adept give-and-take pacing, La Mujer deserves credit for straying outside the urban-guns-and-grit genre so favored by importers of Latin American cinema. Yet the unexamined privilege and relentless glamour of its characters grows wearisome, as does its aggressively de-Hispanicized milieu and skittishness over Ignacio’s predicament. Stylistically several notches above the typical Univision soaper, La Mujer ultimately plays it just as safe. (Opens Fri; click here for venues.)—Mark Holcomb