Thursday, February 26, 2015

Voice Over

Voice Over played in Lincoln Center’s Film Comment Selects 2015 series on March 3.

Voice Over sketches a portrait of an upper-middle-class family in Chile, flitting from one highly charged plot point to the next (a birth, a funeral, an illicit affair, the dissolution of a marriage) without probing too deeply into any of the characters or feelings involved. That can make it feel a bit like an upscale soap opera, as beautiful sisters Sofia (Ingrid Isensee) and Ana (María José Siebald), their flawless skin generally lit to a caramel glow, speculate in upscale settings about other members of their family, with an occasional break to have sex (Sofia with an inappropropriate boyfriend; Ana with a blandly supportive husband) or take care of their children.

Sofia is an actress who does voiceovers so she doesn't have to move to Santiago for work. Ana is a new mother who moves back to Valdivia to help take care of their mother, Matilde (Gloria's excellent Paulina García, underutilized here), after Matilde's separation from the girls' father. Their father is the sisters' favorite topic of conversation because Sofia is obsessed with a secret she's just learned about him that will, if true, force her to rethink her impression of him and of her family's past. Ana, the older and more pragmatic sister, periodically insists they're too old to be obsessed with what their father did or didn't do, but she usually seems just as eager as Sofia to talk about it.

The film has a tamped-down tastefulness that makes it feel a bit sedated. Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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