A winner of seven Ariels at the 2001 Mexican Academy Awards, including best picture, best actor, and best original screenplay, this feature brims with magnificent landscapes—wind-sculpted canyons and haunting vistas of red dirt and clear blue sky masterfully rendered by cinematographer Patrick Murguia. Unfortunately the script and direction by Ignacio Ortiz Cruz can't live up to the scenery. The story—about a family cursed to reenact, generation after generation, the same murderous battle between brothers—plays like a clumsy imitation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the direction is a thin simulation of Luis Buñuel. Aiming for art, Cruz delivers an arty soap opera. 100 min. Also known as Fairy Tales to Put Crocodiles to Sleep. In Spanish with subtitles. 97 min.
By Jack Helbig