THE HEIRESSES

★★★★

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN -

OUT 10 AU­GUST / CERT 12A / 98 MINS DI­REC­TOR Marcelo Marti­nessi CAST Ana Brun, Mar­garita Irún, Ana Ivanova, Ali­cia Guerra

ANA BRUN WON Best Ac­tress at the Ber­lin Film Fes­ti­val for this cap­ti­vat­ing satire, an award which proves fully de­served. A masterclass of act­ing with the eyes, she plays Chela, a pam­pered fiftysome­thing who’s given a jolt when her long­time com­pan­ion, Chiq­uita (Irún), is jailed for fraud, while cov­er­ing for the pair’s over­spend­ing. Yet, while the fo­cus falls on Chela’s grow­ing in­fat­u­a­tion with the sen­sual Angy (Ivanova), de­but di­rec­tor Marcelo Marti­nessi deftly uses the story to com­ment on Paraguay’s class struc­ture and tu­mul­tuous re­cent past. An ir­re­sistible blend of dis­arm­ing in­ti­macy and acer­bic wit, this is a metic­u­lous char­ac­ter study whose late-blos­som­ing hero­ine hints at a wider sense of na­tional re­newal. DP

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