Thursday, April 18, 2024

MSPIFF 2024: The Movie Teller (Movie Review)

The Minneapolis Flim Society along with The Main Cinema presents  The Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival 2024.   A yearly celebration of all the wonderful movies from around the world.  From April 11 through April 25 2024, I will be reviwing a different movie from the many   featured during this event.

Go to  to learn more

The Movie Teller

Cast: Sara Becker,Berenice Bejo, Daniel Bruhl

Writers: Walter Salles, Rafa Russo, Isabel Coixet

Director: Lone Scherfig

In a small mining town in Chile set in the late 60's.  A young woman becomes the resident move teller for first her family and then her whole comminity in this very refeshing tale of how much movies can impact and influence our lives.

Maria Margarita (Sara Becker) and her family have been going to the movies since she was a kid. After an accident causes her dad to be incapictated.  They can only alow to pay one member to attend a feature and renact them.   After many failed but humorus attempts by her brothers.  It is decided that Maria is the best at renacting them.  While the family is sturggling to get food and pay rent.  The mothe(played by Berenice Bejo from The Artist) strikes up a relationship with Daniel Bruhl(Yes the same actor from Inglorious Bastereds) in order to get more money.  Later she decides to abandon her family and start a new life as a singer and dancer.  Making very little money, members of the commuinty decide to start paying Maria to have her tell stories about the movies she has seen to them.    

 I really loved the sections where these classic movies gets retold.  Seeing one of Maria's brothers reenact a famous scene from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg complete with toy trains and cloud models was amazing.  Maria renacting segments from The Apartment and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly were equally so very good.  It has the same vibe of Max Fisher from Wes Anderson's Rushmore doing his play adaptations but if they were actually good.  I also got strong vibes of Cinema Paradiso by Giusseppe Tornatore, Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo and even Be Kind Rewind by Michel Gondry.

After Maria finds her mother I feel the movie should have ended there.  I found the whole subplot of the nation being took over by a dictatorship to feel a bit shoehorned in at the last minute.  If that story element was adressed a bit more at the begining.  I could understand it's inclusion but it never felt needed for me.  The acting from everyone was astounding but the real stand out was Sara Becker as our lead chraracter.  Truly great with a nice balance of humor and heart.  I will definetly be looking out for more movies she is in.  

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