An experienced grifter (Ricardo Darin) takes a younger confrere (Gaston Pauls) under his wing to steal a block of stamps (called the "nine queens") in this 2000 caper film from Argentina. The whole movie is held together only by surface tension, yet that tension is skillfully and humorously maintained, the pace brisk and the dialogue jogging companionably alongside the plot's snaky twists and turns. The actors are charismatic, particularly Darin, whose blend of charm and desperation plays well against the wide-eyed earnestness of his partner and the squadron of street-smart characters they pick up along the way. Widely hailed in Argentina as proof that homegrown products could compete with Hollywood fare, the film breathed new life into old movie chestnuts through its Argentinean rhythms and casual-looking locations, from corner bodegas to luxury high-rises. Of course, one might wonder why anyone outside Hollywood would want to breathe new life into its old chestnuts. In Spanish with subtitles.
Director: Fabián Bielinsky
Writer: Fabián Bielinsky
Producer: Cecilia Bossi and Pablo Bossi
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, Graciela Tenembaum, Leticia Bredice, Tomás Fonzi, Ignasi Abadal, Alejandro Awada, Antonio Ugo, Oscar Nuñez, Celia Juarez, Elsa Berenguer, Maria Mercedes Villagra, Amancay Espindola, Pochi Ducasse, Carlos Lanari, Roberto Rey, Gabriel Correa, Isaac Fajm, Luis Armesto, Ernesto Arias, Leo Dyzen, Jorge Noya, Carlos Falcone, Ricardo Mourelle, Ulises Celestino, Norberto Arcusin, Gabriel Molinelli, Emanuel Mercado and Claudio Rissi