The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (3)
Shot in the same urban slum as Kleber Filho's Neighboring Sounds, this relentlessly bleak character study offers a disheartening glimpse of contemporary Brazilian life.
It's all a bit dissolute and daffy, but at least her prescription for happiness doesn't come out of a bottle.
"Veronica" is the kind of small film from a faraway country that would be easy not to notice as the waves of major studio releases crash onto theatrical shores. But that would be a pity.
Mr. Gomes remains laudably faithful to his character, and Ms. Guedes's bodily sense of languor gets across more than any crystal-clear dramatic statement would.
Guedes's complex performance leaves no doubt regarding the fragility of Veronica's psyche.
Brazil's Marcelo Gomes leaps to the front rank of South American filmmakers.
It's neither entertaining as sexploitation nor successful as art.
The film is simply too conscious of its form and its global-market ambitions to ever feel honestly interested in the themes it purports to cherish.
Especially for a movie whose title is in the first person, "Once Upon a Time Was I, Veronica" doesn't make much of an effort to get into the head of its protagonist ...
Anchored by Hermila Guedes's committed performance, this is an interesting and nuanced portrait of discontent, anhedonia and the unbearable weight of apathy in a decadent Brazilian city, even if it becomes repetitious after a while and doesn't really seem to go anywhere in the end.
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