Fabián Bielinsky’s Nine Queens feels especially derivative with double-crossing melodramas like Training Day and The Score still on the market. This ready-made house of cards owes entirely too much to the likes of Hitchcock, Mamet, and noir magpie Tarantino. The film’s sweat lodge scenes are in the Putney Swope/Boogie Nights vein, but the only thing cracking here are the walnuts inside the palm of an Argentinian mami’s young lover. Professional swindler Marco (Ricardo Darin) joins forces with small time crook Juan (Gaston Gastón Pauls) in order to dupe a rich mafioso with facsimiles of ultra-valuable rare stamps called The Nine Queens. Juan pays a visit to his father in jail and Marco quibbles with his brother and sister over the money he secretly signed over to himself after their grandmother’s death. Culturally, emotionally, and psychologically, nothing’s at stake, just a double-cross you can smell a mile away. Nonetheless, Nine Queens is lots of fun. Bielinsky’s direction is workmanlike and Darin and Pauls are excellent performers (you won’t find this kind of soulfulness in a Mamet Heist). But because the true star here is Leticia Brédice, who turns a hotel lobby into a ferocious catwalk, a more apt title for the film would have been Drama Queen.
- Sony Pictures Classics
- 115 min
- Fabián Bielinsky
- Fabián Bielinsky
- Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, Leticia Brédice, Graciela Tenembaum, María Mercedes Villagra, Gabriel Correa, Pochi Ducasse, Luis Armesto, Ernesto Arias, Amancay Espíndola, Isaac Fajm, Jorge Noya, Óscar Núñez, Ignasi Abadal, Carlos Lanari, Roberto Rey
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