**** (out of five)
Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film Wild Tales lives up to its title. An old-school anthology film, the only connecting theme here is revenge, and the tone is very black comedy. Writer / director Damián Szifron’s style and tone are similar to Tarantino’s, and if you like his stuff you’ll certainly hoover up what’s on offer here.
Each of the six stories is slightly longer than the last, but they’re all clever and laugh-out-loud funny. There’s an airplane tale, a roadside diner tale, a car tale, a parking ticket tale, a corruption tale and a wedding tale. If you’re familiar with Argentinean cinema you’ll see plenty of familiar faces among the large cast; the best role belongs to Ricardo Darín (The Secret In Their Eyes, Nine Queens) who is excellent as a civic demolitions expert upset at his car getting towed.
Amongst the humour (and the bursts of violence, all tongue-in-cheek and never gory) there’s a lot of fuel being levelled at Argentina’s seemingly invincible levels of corruption. Buenos Aires is well captured, warts and all, and at various levels of society, and the pace never flags. The whole package is very slick and enormously entertaining. Highly recommended.