SXSW Film Reviews
A devastating, twisted work, Amores Perros is marred only by a bloated running time and a bloodless conclusion.
Amores Perros/Love's a BitchD: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu; with Emilio Echevarria, Gael Garcia Bernal, Goya Toledo, Alvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche. (35mm, 154 min.)
The title of this Mexican import plays up the dual definition of bitch: the canine kind of bitch and the pain-in-the-ass kind, too. Dogs play a central role in Amores Perros, which is up for this year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Pup lovers beware, though: There is terrifying, unconscionable violence toward dogs throughout. The story centers on a car crash that sends three lives into simultaneous tailspins. (The film's structure and time/space jumps recall Pulp Fiction and Run Lola Run.) The title suggests a sort of flippancy that doesn't really exist here -- sure, there are streaks of black humor, but mostly this is bleak, despairing stuff, all about betrayal and death and debt and gangrene. A devastating, twisted work, Amores Perros is marred only by a bloated running time and a bloodless conclusion. (Paramount, 3/16, 6pm)