The Headless Woman | Chicago Reader

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87 minutes · 2009

Drama, Suspense/Thriller
The gnawing guilt of the hit-and-run driver has been exploited in dramas as various as Susanne Bier's Open Hearts (2002), Terry George's Reservation Road (2007), and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys (2008), and it proves an effective hook in this unsettling, nicely modulated Argentinian feature by Lucrecia Martel (The Holy Girl). Quiet but commanding, Maria Onetto plays a comfortable middle-class wife who's driving home from a family gathering when she runs over a little boy; the accident transpires in an extended close-up of her from the passenger's seat, and Onetto is masterful as her character absorbs the shock of the impact, gradually composes herself, pointedly refuses to look in her rearview mirrors, and drives on. Of course the crime begins to eat away at her, and Martel, breaking some new ground, shows how the crisis becomes an open secret inside the woman's family, knitting it closer around her. In Spanish with subtitles.
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Director: Lucrecia Martel
Writer: Lucrecia Martel
Producer: Miguel Schverdfinger
Cast: María Onetto, Claudia Cantero, Inés Efron, Daniel Genoud, Guillermo Arengo, César Bordón and María Vaner

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