The Weasel’s Tale Review
By David Kempler
Amazing! – I just saw a film I really liked in the middle of this COVID 2020 mess. Juan José Campanella, the Argentinian director of the Oscar Award winning The Secret in Their Eyes” is back with “The Weasel’s Tale,” and it’s another winner.
This one is a dark comedy that manages to walk the tightrope so necessary to both shock you and make you laugh. When done right like this, the combination produces uneasy laughter from the audience. You chuckle, and then wonder if you’re being inappropriate by feeling amusement.
At its outset, “The Weasels’ Tale” feels like a remake of “Sunset Boulevard”, the famous 1950 film noir look at an actress well past her prime living in the delusion that she’s about to hit the big time again. However, this one veers into quite another direction, of schemers scheming.
A former diva, Mara Ordaz (Graciela Borges), has been retired from the screen for many years. She lives in a secluded mansion on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. She shares it with Pedro (Luis Brandoni), her meek husband. He had a far smaller acting career, though he believes he could have had a huge career if he hadn’t been hindered by the other two gentlemen living in the house with them.
The two other gents are Norberto (Oscar Martínez), the director of many of Mara’s films, and Martín (Marcos Mundstock), the screenwriter of the films. Both men are unbelievably snarky, especially to Mara, who gives as good as she gets with the two of them. It’s pretty close to hate for all concerned, yet they remain together under one roof.
The story takes off when a young couple drive up asking for directions to Buenos Aires. Bárbara (Clara Lago) and Francisco (Nicolás Francella) are invited in after they realize that they are in the presence of the legendary Mara Ordaz. Francisco is particularly mesmerized by Mara, and she loves the adulation.
Where it goes from here is filled with amusing twists that reveal what’s going on inside all of the character’s brains – and while you might figure out some of what is going on, you will no doubt be surprised by some of it as well.
The most important thing about “The Weasel’s Tale” is that it made me smile in anticipation of where it might be headed. There are quite a few turns, and by the end I had a big grin plastered on my face. Who couldn’t use that in 2020?