Duck Season

"Good"

Duck Season Review


There's something suspiciously After School Special about the premise of Fernando Eimbcke's Duck Season. There are children of an impressionable age and scenarios that involve them meeting new people, expanding their horizons, and generally opening up emotional parts of themselves which may have heretofore lain dormant. All throughout, viewers may be scanning the horizons for lessons being sent their way by a filmmaker wanting to be not only charming but educational. Eimbcke is indeed both, but fortunately not in the way one would think.

In a bleak Mexico City housing complex, 14-year-old best friends Flama (Daniel Miranda) and Moko (Diego Cataño) are left alone for the day by Flama's mother. Thinking they'll have the whole day to virtually kill each other on the Xbox and eat junk food, it's with no small irritation that they greet Rita (Danny Perea), the 16-year-old from next door, when she interrupts them so she can borrow the apartment's kitchen to bake a cake. They turn back to the game only to have the power go out. A perfectly good day ruined. Since the boys have been friends for years, there's not much left to say, so they lay about the apartment, Flama jittery and nail-biting, Moko more artfully bored in his Rancid t-shirt and luxuriant mop of curls. Time ticks by, water drips from the faucet and the melancholy dread of adolescent boredom is artfully reconstructed.

Stasis is interrupted by the pizza delivery man, Ulises (Enrique Arreola) who shows up 11 seconds late (by the boys' reckoning), meaning that the delivery is free. Only Ulises refuses to leave without payment. In a situation that would result in lawsuits and cable television denunciations if replicated in the United States (land of suspicious minds), the adult Ulises hangs around the apartment with the unsupervised kids, arguing over the money and eventually playing for it on the Xbox when the power comes back on.

In its naturalistic, black-and-white fashion, Duck Season is mindful of what could happen if Robert Rodriguez pulled his head out of the comics and applied what he knows of children's inner world to telling more heartfelt stories. Eimbcke's examination of the little ways in which Flama and Moko pass the time seems dead on, even capturing the small joys of things like being able to pour the perfect glass of Coke (it's an art). Inserting the endearingly straightforward Rita into this emotionally static boy zone makes for some nice tension, too, especially when she dragoons Moko into helping her bake. As the day winds on its mellow fashion and each of the characters opens up, Eimbcke makes it seem natural enough and rarely forced. Even the biggest surprises (and there's at least one serious shocker here) don't come off as melodramatic, just another wrinkle in a long, weird day.

The film's most jarring element - namely, the inclusion of the immature and stunted Ulises in this adult-free space - is also what works the least well. While Eimbcke explores the younger characters by means of glances and small emotional eruptions, with Ulises he feels compelled to give the man a longwinded soliloquy about his life, padded out with unnecessary flashbacks that are the only false notes in this otherwise crisply shot work. A good sense of humor and no desire to impart any serious wisdom by film's end gets Eimbcke through plenty of tight spots, leaving us with a smart little film that dances adroitly from goofy to gorgeous and back again.

Aka Temporada de Patos.



Duck Season

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th January 2005

Box Office USA: $0.1M

Distributed by: Warner Independent Pictures

Production compaines: Cine Pantera, Lul%C3%BA, Titan Talent & Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 66 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Fernando Eimbcke

Producer: Christian Valdelièvre

Starring: Daniel Miranda as Flama, Diego Cataño as Moko, Danny Perea as Rita, Enrique Arreola as Ulises

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.