Una Noche | Chicago Reader

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90 minutes

Writer-director Lucy Mulloy displays much promise in her first feature, a gritty teen drama shot in Havana with a nonprofessional cast. Mulloy is British and studied filmmaking in the U.S., yet the movie doesn't feel like the work of an outsider—it has an earthy, on-the-ground energy, and the impressionistic photography does a good job at evoking a native perspective. The story concerns a juvenile delinquent, his gay best friend, and the friend's twin sister, all of them poor and struggling in dead-end jobs. Their melodramatic three-way relationship, fraught with barely suppressed erotic desire, suggests a neorealist variation on Cocteau's Les Enfants Terribles. Mulloy maintains a tight, psychological perspective throughout, even when the story switches gears in the third act and the main characters risk their lives to sail to Miami. In Spanish with subtitles.

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