The Fish Child (El Niño Pez)

LUCIA PUENZO

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  Argentina/France/Spain, 2009.  Historias Cinematograficas Cinemania, Ibermedia, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, MK2 Productions, Televisión Española, Wanda Visión S.A..  Screenplay by Lucia Puenzo, based on her novel.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by , , .  Production Design by . Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Lucia Puenzo follows her directorial debut XXY with this dreary, unlikeable drama. The daughter of a wealthy politician is madly in love with her native maid, and the two of them save money for the day that they plan to run away. After the politician ends up murdered, his daughter goes in search of her now disappeared lover, travelling to her hometown and finding out secrets about her past. Puenzo has a touch for realism that she has inherited from her father (Luis Puenzo, who here also served as producer), but her plotting is confusing: the movie goes back and forth in time with very little prompting, and by the time you figure out what’s happening you’ll be too frustrated by its obscurity and the overly-shadowed cinematography to give it a chance. Great performances, though ‘s skittishness at times really pushes the envelope.

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