The Window

Film
3 out of 5 stars
GAZE AWAY Larreta looks to the sun-dappled unknown.
GAZE AWAY Larreta looks to the sun-dappled unknown.

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Carlos Sorin’s The Window details the last day in the life of elderly Argentine writer Antonio (Larreta), whose impending death prompts a hazy remembrance of things past. It’s less Marcel Proust than Malcolm Lowry lite. (Imagine Under the Volcano reconceived with mostly heavy-handed magical realist touches and no alcoholic stupors.) Bookending the film is worn-and-torn black-and-white footage of a pale ghost beckoning Antonio to the Great Beyond. This rather trite visualization is made all the more banal by comparison with the many ravishing images Sorin and cinematographer Julin Apezteguia capture in the movie proper.

Sunlight and shadow play off the many surfaces of the dusky country home where Antonio lies on his deathbed and is cared for by two exasperated servants (Jimnez and Emilse Roldn). A piano tuner (Rovira) provides some off-key accompaniment throughout, and Antonio’s emotionally distant son (Jorge Diaz) makes a late magic-hour appearance with his cell-phone-toting wife (Carla Peterson). But the strongest passage is the old man’s defiant sojourn into the nearby fields, a sequence as evocative as any from one of Sorin’s stated, and superior, inspirations: Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries.—Keith Uhlich

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