Minerva's Quest | Chicago Reader

Minerva's Quest

Minerva, a middle-aged failed novelist who's consumed with bitterness and anger toward her father and her lover, returns to her hometown in Mexico to try to understand why her life hasn't worked out the way she thought it might. She has always cherished the memory of her adoring ne'er-do-well Uncle Alberto, whose sporadic visits were an antidote to her father's stern coldness. But as she examines her childhood, it becomes clear that all was not as it appeared to be. Director Oscar Blancarte shows a lot of compassion for his main character, but compassion alone doesn't necessarily make for an interesting story. To up the dramatic ante, he reveals a big, dark family secret in the final act—a secret that's entirely predictable. He also tries to integrate elements of Greek drama—always risky because it invites comparison with the genuine article and can obfuscate themes. Some of the glimpses of the Pacific coast are spellbinding, but Blancarte hasn't managed to incorporate the character of the region in a way that has any relevance to the story. With Angelica Aragon and Francisco Gattorno. 115 Min.

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