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View All Imagining Argentina News
All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (9)
| DVD (4)
Despite its flaws, the film does the job in helping us imagine what that must be like for relatives and friends left behind.
It's sad to see a film which, despite fine work in the various craft departments, fails to succeed on the most basic level.
The concept takes magical realism to a reductive, overtly literal level, trivializing the subject and the people the film tries so hard to memorialize.
Like Life Is Beautiful before it, Imagining Argentina juxtaposes horrific images of torture and humiliation against gooey optimism and thinks it's saying something profound about human resilience in the process.
It is not a good film; it is, moreover, a very earnest one, and our popular culture despises earnestness above almost anything else.
Gimmicky, pat, and just a tad too brutal at times, Imagining Argentina is a powerful statement rendered oddly ineffectual by a consistent desire to avoid controversy.
Hampton's mixing of thriller and love story, cinematic coincidence and historical fact makes this film flawed but fascinating.
...fidgety and incomplete, as though either poorly conceived or poorly re-edited after the fact.
Hampton makes a moving job of it, with top-notch cinematography and heartfelt performances.
The power of the film is its roots in official truths which are already melting away.
Well-intentioned but awkwardly executed.
Honorable, but highly flawed, production.
It is, yes, well-intentioned but that doesn't compensate for its silly, heavy-handed execution full of artificiality, shallow dialogue and cartoonish villains - and Banderas' character acts so irrationally that I find it unbelievable that he is not killed before halfway through the story.
In "Imagining Argentina," Cecilia Rueda(Emma Thompson), a journalist, is snatched off the street by armed men in Buenos Aires in 1976. Eight weeks later, her husband Carlos(Antonio Banderas), a theater director, is still at a loss as to her disappearance. While he does his best to take care of his teenaged daughter Teresa(Leticia Dolera) at home, at work things are falling apart as Enrico(Fernando Tielve), his leading man, wants to quit because his father has gone missing too. Carlos reassures him that things will be fine, as he also starts to sense the horrible truth behind his wife's disappearance.
There are some things to admire about the otherwise unremarkable movie "Imagining Argentina," such as the performances from Emma Thompson and Antonio Banderas who underplays nicely but is still no Ricardo Darin. For the most part, writer-director Christopher Hampton gives the potentially intriguing material a pedestrian and heavy handed treatment. To start, the movie would have been better served if it had taken place after the military government left power when Carlos could have provided answers to long lingering mysteries with history at a safe distance. As it stands, what is he supposed to do except provide confirmation of the worst fears?(It just goes to prove that some things are best left to the imagination.) In fact, he only makes things worse. In the end, the individual stories matter little in the grand scheme of things, as the epitaph confirms that this was not an isolated situation. That may be so but also invoking the Holocaust is taking things a little too far.
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