Cinequest: THE MODERNS

THE MODERNS

Noelia Campo and Mauro Sarser in THE MODERNS

ES MUY COMPLICADO. In the Uruguayan dramedy The Moderns,

Fausto (Mauro Sarser) is a free-lance film editor. Clara (Noelia Campo)  is the producer of Uruguay’s most intellectually pretentious public TV talk show.  They are working together on a documentary project – and dating each other.  Fausto claims that Clara is pressuring him and dumps her.  Fausto spots a New Shiny Thing in the form of the Argentine actress Fernanda (Marie Hélène Wyaux).   Clara starts dating the beautiful lesbian Ana (Stefania Tortorella), which re-fascinates Fausto.  Is Fausto confused, weak-willed or a selfish scoundrel?  Who is going to end up with whom?

The Moderns is plenty funny.  The fantasy scenes are uniformly LOL.  And there’s a humorously unlikely impregnation.  After watching the somewhat misleading trailer, I thought that I’d be starting this post with “Two Uruguayans walk into a studio and make a Woody Allen movie…”  Indeed the white-on-black credits, the 1930s/1940s music in the score, the repertory cast and the black-and-white photography evoke Woody.  But The Moderns is not an homage, but an original, character-based exploration

The Moderns is the first feature for co-writers and co-directors Marcila Matta and Mauro Sarser, and they show a lot of promise.

There’s an unexpectedly satisfying ending, and we are left with “We live our lives – and it’s complicated.”

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