The Almond Tree Mystery

Against his better judgment, a private investigator (Manuel Medina) takes on a murder case in which he and his partner (Jose Juan Meraz) must pose as gay lovers to get close to the prime suspect (Maria Rojo), a wealthy libertine who welcomes Mexico's demimonde to her country estate. The hero keeps his focus, but his partner lets down his guard, seduced by the opulent surroundings. A snooping, one-breasted lesbian maid adds a Buñuelian touch to this 2004 feature, which intrigues more than it satisfies. After a considerable amount of misogyny, homoerotic teasing, and alcohol-fueled excess, the violent ending plays more like opera than film noir. Jaime Humberto Hermosillo (Dona Herlinda and Her Son) directed. 137 min.

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