Son Of The Bride review

Hitching a ride on Latin American cinema's so-called `Good Wave', Argentina's Son Of The Bride deservedly picked up an Oscar nom in 2002's Best Foreign Language Film category.

Middle-aged Rafael Belvedere (Nine Queens' Ricardo Darín) chainsmokes his way from failing business to failed marriage to the residential care home of his Alzheimer's-afflicted mother to...the local hospital's cardiac unit. While there, he realises his life has amounted to sod all and decides to "drop the fuck out", flee to Mexico and breed horses.

There's plenty of humour sprinkled through this tale of a midlife crisis, a succession of sharp one-liners helping to turn the potentially schmaltzy plot into a classy drama. Rafael might be learning some clichéd lessons about the meaning of his life, but his transformation is presented with such panache it all seems fresh.

Writer/director Juan José Campanella's insightful commentary on a society in a state of crisis also adds welcome grit, proving there's more to Latin American cinema than deprived kids with big guns and bad dress sense.

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