The Headless Woman [La Mujer Sin Cabeza]

"Excellent"

The Headless Woman [La Mujer Sin Cabeza] Review


There's so much going on in between the lines of this film that it can seem almost overwhelming to watch. But gifted filmmaker Martel has crafted an unnervingly internalised thriller for adventurous moviegoers.

When Veronica (Onetto), a respected wife and mother, hits something with her car, she starts to become disconnected from the bustling, well-heeled European society she lives in, haunted by the indigenous people living around the edges of her life. This is clearly caused by guilt, but is that due to her affair with an in-law (Genoud) or the fact that she may have killed someone. As her mental confusion grows, her husband (Bordon) and lover seem to close ranks around her to make everything right again.

Every element in this film is carefully planted to leave us clues that help us understand what is really happening. This isn't particularly easy to know, since we are seeing everything through Veronica's muddled perspective. And even in the end, it will take a bit of thought to realise what exactly we have just seen, but the effort really pays off. And Martel's challenging, involving filmmaking style is that rare thing: a movie that dares to make us work and pays off with a lingering, powerful punch.

The film is infused with a Hitchcockian sense of displaced identity, most obviously in Veronica's bleach-blonde hair, which she later dyes brown. But what this most closely resembles is Antonioni's Blow-up, with its swirling, insinuating layers of reality and perception. And then there's the heightened family melodrama, which seems to leak in from producer Almodovar. But all of this is filtered through Martel's distinct filmmaking style, which boldly stirs in the colonial South American issue.

Nothing about this movie is easy, which isn't a bad thing at all. Onetto's performance is both earthy and haunting, easily carrying us through even the most vague scenes with a deep sense of emotional connection. And the cast around her is just as raw, layering in all kinds of meaning along with the clues Martel lays out for her, all captured by Barbara Alvarez's starkly inventive cinematography. It's a staggeringly original work of cinema that wows us even as it leaves us as confounded as Veronica about the injustice we perpetuate every day.



Facts and Figures

Budget: $23M

Production compaines: El Deseo

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Tilde Corsi, Veronica Cura, , , , Enrique Pineyro, , Marianne Slot

Starring: Maria Onetto as Verónica, Claudia Cantero as Josefina, César Bordón as Marcos, Guillermo Arengo as Marcelo, as Candita, María Vaner as Tia Lala

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

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.