Anyone would have trouble topping Dogtooth
(2009), the stunning black comedy that repositioned Greece at the cutting edge of world cinema. But this follow-up from writer-director Giorgos Lanthimos is a bigger disappointment than I expected. One story line involves a rhythmic gymnast who's cracking under the pressure of her coach's demands; another focuses on a nurse (Aggeliki Papoulia, the older daughter in Dogtooth
) who develops an unhealthy fixation on a tennis-playing patient. The movie contains some of the same elements that made its predecessor so startling—cruel punishments, weird emotional attachments, language neutered of all meaning—but they tend to float around rather than coalesce into a singular perspective. In Greek with subtitles.
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Gene Siskel Film Center's epic international fest concludes this week