Ema, dir. Pablo LarraÃn, Chile 2019, 107 min., Spanish with English subtitles, 15
Ema (Mariana Di Girólamo) is a dancer in a modern dance collective where Gastón (Gael García Bernal) is the choreographer. Away from the dancefloor, the pair are the adoptive parents of a seven-year-old boy named Polo. Lurching from argument to bitter, the pair are set to divorce after handing back their child – until Ema comes up with a masterplan to get Polo back.
Pablo Larraín (No, Jackie) returns to his native Chile for this extraordinary spectacle, which highlights an intimate journey into the (night)lives and loves of troubled young people, that is an immersive at its best on the big screen. Sergio Armstrong’s camerawork perfectly captures the rough and tumble of Valparaíso, the coastal city where it’s set, while Nicolas Jaar’s pumping ambient-reggaeton soundtrack brings further motion and movement to a film that refuses to sit still for a second.
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