Old Cats Screen 4 articles

Old Cats


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  • Castro underplays Isadora’s disorientation, retreating into herself. Her slack-featured face almost expressionless, she conveys Isadora’s bewilderment and fascination, her incipient senility less malady than head-trip. Sieveking and Saavedra fashion an awkward camaraderie between Enrique and Hugo, an ideal balance to the heavyweights they’re meant to protect. And by resisting histrionics, Celedón modulates Rosario’s resentment and greed to reveal the underlying pain.

  • In some respects, Old Cats... recalls Silva’s sophomore project from 2009, The Maid (also co-written with Peirano). Both films are confined almost exclusively to a single dwelling and center on a fractious nuclear family; two performers from The Maid reappear in Old Cats. Each movie reveals Silva’s mastery of tone shifts, from domestic horror to mordant hilarity—which is more pronounced in Old Cats—to well-earned, never maudlin reconciliation.

  • ...These questions deepen the experience of watching Old Cats, but the directors’ inability to completely meld their broadest and most sensitive tendencies results in an oddly lopsided film. Though Celedón and Saavedra... give chameleonic, full-throttle, lived-in performances, their entrance into the narrative is an emotional, even aesthetic hurtle the film never quite gets over.

  • Though it’s been three years since the film’s New York Film Festival debut, this exquisite chamber piece by Chilean filmmakers Pedro Peirano and Sebastián Silva (Crystal Fairy) hasn’t lost an ounce of its understated power... The wild-eyed Celedón and stealthily empathetic Saavedra introduce a farcical element to this otherwise mournful milieu, but the tonal clashes yield something genuinely cathartic, if also ultimately irresolvable.

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