A Perfect Day | Chicago Reader

A Perfect Day

106 minutes 2015

In the waning days of the Balkan conflict, five international aid workers are pulled into an increasingly absurd and complicated mission to hoist a dead body from a village well so the water can be purified. I was nearly halfway through this Spanish drama and wondering when the story was going to begin before I realized that it already had. The low-stakes shaggy-dog plot allows for a variety of vignettes that reveal how the civil conflict eroded people's humanity, but the movie's orthodox antiwar sentiment carries the story only so far; dragging it over the finish line, in the absence of any compelling objective, are Benicio Del Toro as the group's humane, grimly humorous leader and Tim Robbins as a veteran aid worker whose hot-dog behavior terrifies some of the others. Fernando León de Aranoa directed; with Olga Kurylenko, Mélanie Thierry, and Fedja Stukan.

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