The Feast of the Goat (La fiesta del Chivo) (2006)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Ugh. This is a miscast, misdirected, poorly written film about a particularly viscious period of Dominican history, the influence of which is still being felt today.
Set in a country that is predominantly black and mulato (85-90%) we have a cast comprised of people who look nothing like my countrymen and women. The screenplay grossly oversimplifies the nature of the period and much of the dialogue is absolutely laughable.
There are, however, a few saving graces. The first is Stephanie Leonidas, a girl I've had a crush on since "Mirrormask" who delivers a strong, brave performance. Despite being British, she is one of the very, very few who genuinely felt Dominican. Whoever played the character of Manuel Alfonso was murderously good. The scene where he, gently, subtly seduces Agustin Cabral to do something specific in order to get back in Trujillo's (the dictator) good graces is masterful. In fact, everything from that scene up until its savage outcome is absolutely brilliant, and belongs in another film. Unfortunitely, so does Isabella Rosellini, who has been great before and no doubt will be again, but is quite bad here.
The novel was not a great work, though Mario Vargas Llosa can bet a great writer. And yet it contained within some very interesting themes, and a fierce indictment of the the docile populance which allowed this to happen, and in a way allows it to happen today still. None of this is present in this cheap, Halmark-tv quality picture.
Were I not Dominican I might have been more forgiving, but I do sincerely doubt it. It is worth seeing for the above mentioned performances and scenes, but everything else (especially Steven Bauer...this guy is AWFUL...offensively bad...FUCK Steven Bauer in the most uncomfortable of spots...FUCK him until he cries in agony then FUCK him some more) is most definitely not up to par.
Fairly good adaptation of Mario Vargas Llosa's acclaimed book of the same name. The photography is gorgeous although there are some strange planes that I didn't get. Acting is very good overall.
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