The Window

"Excellent"

The Window Review


It's not much of a stretch when a film features a succession of loudly ticking clocks that the film will be about the last day of a dying man and not about Frank Miller coming into town on the noon train for a showdown with Gary Cooper. So it will be not giving away too much to reveal that in Carlos Sorin's The Window a sick and feeble old man will die at the film's end and that the movie will be liberally peppered with death images -- the clocks, a shuttered window through which rays of bright light seep through, dream images from 80 years ago. But the elegance of Sorin's Patagonian take on Wild Strawberries is in what Sorin does with these unsurprising images. In The Window these images are not heavy and portentous, but play as a background soundtrack to the sensory impressions and ambiance within the confined spaces of a man's last day on earth. Sorin's plotless film deals with the light and not the shadows, and with an airy leisure and humor that belies the melancholy and foretold destiny of a dying old man.

Uruguayan writer Antonio Lorreta (in a performance of quiet strength and dignity) plays the elderly Don Antonio, flat on his back and all alone except for a couple of hardworking housekeepers and a driver. Don Antonio lives in a large country house far away from the city and must have lorded it over his help in times of health -- although the man is almost helpless now. Sorin indicates what he must have been before by revealing the old man having hidden a key to the liquor pantry in his pocket, claiming his money has been stolen from his book, and exhorting the housekeeper to water his vegetable garden.

This is a big day for Don Antonio. His son, a noted European pianist whom he hasn't seen in years, is coming to visit him, and the housekeepers are buzzing about preparing for the prodigal son's return. As the house staff is busy and preoccupied making arrangements, Don Antonio pulls open his bedroom window, letting the sunlight bathe over him, and he grabs his IV drip, his hat, and his coat and takes a walk into the fields.

Sorin infuses his film with visual landscapes both interior and exterior and deconstructs the final day from dawn to dusk with the symphony of life -- chirping birds, the wind, discordant notes from a piano tuner, even water in the pipes as someone takes a shower. Life is all around Don Antonio and Sorin lets him see and hear it all so that when Don Antonio takes his walk in the field and manages to urinate on his own, he cracks a melancholy smile in bittersweet victory at still being a part of the life all around him.

In the United States, most of the films released about old age and death take on a corny generic track of cranky old men, cute little moppets, and debilitating illnesses that still deliver affirming life messages to the living. Not so in The Window -- Sorin is too much the artist for that. Death for Don Antonio is a reluctantly willing journey of transcendence where cinematic images (a key, a 40-year-old Champagne bottle, a first edition, a toy soldier) become the remaining sparks of precious remaining hours of life. Significantly, at the end of the film, when the old man dies, the last image and sound is of a scratchy and faded film running to its end as if projected through an old camera.

Aka La ventana.

On the hunt for those darn kids.



The Window

Facts and Figures

Run time: 73 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 21st July 1949

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Jose Maria Morales

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.