Sex, Shame and Tears

Director: Antonio Serrano

1998. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 107 min.

After making a name in Mexican theatre, director Antonio Serrano has turned his own stage play into a hit film about group of yuppies who have failed to live up to their own expectations, professionally and amorously. Serrano sets the action in two opposing flats in a posh area of Mexico City. In the first flat, hedonist Ana (Susana Zabaleta) is fed up with husband Carlos’ navel gazing and seizes an opportunity when their buddy—and Ana’s old love—returns from a trip abroad. Across the street, something similar is happening: high-strung ex-model Andrea (Cecilia Suarez) is frustrated by the constant infidelities of spouse Miguel (Jorge Salinas), who brings home a former girlfriend. Soon old flames are rekindled and domestic crises ensue until some new arrangements are worked out.
Serrano keeps things moving with a nimble direction that’s unmarked by any staginess. He also works in a visual motif of reflection, as each character has a counterpart from the opposite sex and the activities in one apartment are mirrored in the other. The performances are excellent, with Bichir confirming his reputation as the young leading actor of choice in Mexican cinema. Plus Chance/Azar by Oliver Castro. (2000. Black and white. 5 min.)

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