Wild Tales is a remarkable movie. It’s the best film I’ve seen this year—by far. Where to start? Probably with the incredibly talented, gifted really, writer-director, Damián Szifron. Seemingly out of nowhere comes an Argentine who, after writing and /or directing a smattering of other films and TV shows, creates a full-on, boldly displayed, work of art, brimming with imagination and vitality.
This project was fulfilled by a magical synergy of the sum of its parts. First, a brilliant casting director—the kind of casting director that would cast John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men, Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris, or Meryl Streep in Angels in America. It feels like each actor had been born to play that role. The actors slid naturally into their parts, and we were better able to see their nuanced performances through the discriminating lens of another contributor—the amazing cinematographer, Javier Julia. Julia’s intuitive knowing of how to frame shots, use angles, judiciously apply light and dark, not to mention coloration appropriate for each segment—this artist’s skills and keen eye served perfectly to bring these stories to life.
And before I actually give you the briefest description of what the movie is about, I have to comment on how the music enhanced the film. The soundtrack, featuring Flashdance, Titanium, Fly Me to the Moon, plus a ton of original music, was one of the many facets of Wild Tales that simply worked.
Okay, so without spoiling the viewer’s experience of discovery, I think I can safely say that Wild Tales is a collection of six vignettes that share pretty much one thing in common: the intensity of emotions that might cause a loss of control when dealing with disturbing experiences. Perhaps this is a little vague, but I found that much of the pleasure I derived from viewing this film was heightened by being taken by surprise. If you want more specifics or opinions, check out IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes to see the high scores and critical acclaim. Some call it a black comedy, but I’m going to leave it label-less.
The Special Features on the DVD include an interview with Szifron at the Toronto International Film Festival, and “The Making of ”. I watched the TIFF interview, but thought that if I watched the “Making Of’, I might feel like Dorothy when Toto pulled the curtain open and revealed that the Wizard was just Frank Morgan. Anyway…
I’m still high from watching Wild Tales. In a sea of mediocrity in cinema, only a few films rise high above, and this was one of them. – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
DVD Release Date: 6/16/15