Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Cenizas del Paraiso |
Ashes from Paradise
Actors: Hector Alterio, Cecilia Roth, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Daniel Kuzniecka, Leticia Brédice
Director: Marcelo Piñeyro
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
"You should have killed me, Ana"
Sebastian Fernandez | Tampa, Florida United States | 05/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If I would have to pick the movie among those I have watched that has the strongest and most gripping start, this one would definitely get the prize. First, we are shocked when we see judge Costa Makantasis (Alterio) falling from a building to his untimely death. This is followed by the image of Ana (Bredice), who has been stabbed to death, being dragged to a car by Pablo Makantasis (Sbaraglia). Then we jump to a scene in which Alejandro Makantasis (Abeles) is gulping pills with alcohol in an effort to end his life, while he burns Ana's photo. Finally, the other brother, Nicolas (Kuzniecka) kills a horse and then burns a tree at a ranch.
I think that it is impossible that after seeing these scenes your curiosity is not piqued. Mine was, and when we start to get more information about what is going on, we are drawn into a complicated mystery full of conspiracies, betrayals, love and a string will to search for the truth. Judge Teller (Roth) is in charge of investigating Ana's murder, and her job becomes increasingly difficult when all three young brothers confess to killing her. The fact that the victim is the daughter of Francisco Muro, a powerful and ruthless man who was a sworn enemy of Costa Makantasis, makes matters even more complicated. Especially since the Makantasis claim that their dad did not commit suicide, but was murdered instead.
A good part of the action is shown in the form of flashbacks, with the brothers remembering the events that lead to the proceedings investigated by Teller. As the mystery starts gaining shape, we also get to see the inner works of a very special family, with strong bonds and plenty of love to spare. The contrast between these scenes and the result, which landed Pablo, Nicolas and Alejandro in jail as suspects in the murder, is gut wrenching. Director Marcelo Piñeyro uses this contrast masterfully; setting a tone that differs considerably from the one we get to see in most mystery thrillers.
Besides the imaginative script, there are other factors that make this an outstanding movie. The cast includes some of the best Argentinean actors, blending together the brightest star of the old generation, Alterio, with the most recognized exponent of the new "guard", Sbaraglia. In between we have the always-inspiring Cecilia Roth, who delivers a solid performance. Those of you that like Argentinean rock will be pleasantly surprised by the score, which includes some of the best songs of the nineties. It was about time this 1997 movie was released on DVD, since a wider audience will now be able to appreciate its quality."
The kind of movie you don't forget...
M. B. Alcat | Los Angeles, California | 06/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Cenizas del Paraíso" (1997) is an outstanding Argentinian film that you shouldn't miss. Why? Because it is the kind of movie you don't forget, due to the fact that it has a very good script, a great cast and a director that took those ingredients and knew how to turn them into the kind of movie you just want to watch again.
This film begins with two deaths that deeply affect the Makantasis brothers, Pablo (Leonardo Sbaraglia), Nicolas (Daniel Kuzniecka) and Alejandro (Nicolás Abeles). One of the deceased is their father Costa (Héctor Alterio), a judge that seems to have commited suicide. The other person that died is Nicolas'girlfriend, a beautiful young woman named Ana (Leticia Bredice). The three brothers claim that their father was murdered, and each one of them separately tells the judge that he killed Anna. But is that true? That is what judge Teller (Cecilia Roth) has to find out.
Watching this movie will give you the opportunity to go along with Teller in her investigation, and to get to know a lot more about the Makantasis family and Anna, thanks to many flashbacks that the director (Marcelo Piñeyro) uses to tell what happened.
All in all, I can say that "Cenizas del Paraíso" is many things, but never boring. I strongly recommend it to you...
PS: Pay attention to the score, I am pretty sure you will love many of the songs."
Crime drama . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 09/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For murder mystery fans who don't mind plots that wander well beyond the realm of credibility, this who-dun-it will keep viewers puzzling over the clues right to the end. Not just a who-dun-it but a what-was-it, the film begins with two violent deaths and in a series of flashbacks reconstructs the series of events leading up to both of them.
There's a bit of Jane ("Prime Suspect") Tennyson in Cecilia Roth's portrayal of the investigating magistrate as she pieces together the details of the case, determining how and why three men, all brothers, would confess to the same murder. Entertainingly far-fetched, the film introduces us to a life-celebrating family of Greeks in modern-day Buenos Aires who get mixed up with a sexy femme fatale and the usual corrupt suspects."
The wonderful Cecilia Roth leads this well-plotted Argentini
Andy Orrock | Dallas, TX | 07/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cecilia Roth gets a free pass from me thanks to her work in Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother, the role of a lifetime for her. So, for Ms. Roth's presence alone, it's worth checking out this gripping Argentinian drama. Yes, despite most of us Statesiders associating her with Spain (thanks to her partnership with Almodóvar), Ms. Roth is a Porteño - born in Buenos Aires in 1956, moved to Spain in the Seventies, then back to her native land in 1995 (thank you, IMDB).
Sharp-eyed viewers will remember Héctor Alterio (Judge Costa Makantasis) from 2001's Son of the Bride, starring Ricardo Darín. Among the three Makantasis sons, middle brother 'Pablo' is the standout - this is Leonardo Sbaraglia, one of Argentina's biggest young stars.
In terms of the movie itself, it's well-plotted and presented. We're thrown directly into a jarring opening sequence - what appears to be a murder, and what appears to a suicide. We - and Roth acting in the viewer's stead as magistrate - are left to unravel the thing. From there, Director/Co-writer Marcelo Piñeyro takes us forward in the investigation, but backwards in the recounting, as we get the take of events from each of the three Makantasis brothers. I have to say, it's skillfully interwoven by Piñeyro. Sometimes we see the same event as re-framed from two or three perspectives. He's done some fine work here. My favorite Argentinian film remains Nine Queens (whose isn't?), but if you're a fan of cinema from the Southern Cone, you won't be disappointed by this one."