Film Reviews

A Room With A View

When the unfinished version of "The Pale King," David Foster Wallace's posthumous novel about a group of IRS agents, is published next year, boredom will have officially become the new aesthetic ecstasy. It may be already. One of the standout films of this year's Miami International Film Festival, Enrique Rivero's Parque vía, explores an IRS-level tedium, the caretaking of an empty mansion in Mexico City by a solitary widower. Beto, played by non-actor Nolberto Coria, spends his days locked in the vice-grip of an unaltered routine that involves washing windows, scrubbing bathtubs, and cutting the lawn. The only pleasures he receives from the outside world are the occasional tamale from a passing vendor and the once-a-week companionship provided by Lupe (Nancy Orozco), a prostitute who shares Beto's blasé attitude toward the world-at-large. But we soon learn that after 30 years of caretaking, Beto's life has become inseparable from the house that governs it, and its imminent sale presents him with a dilemma. Should he start over somewhere else, or take drastic measures to secure his place in the world? His shocking decision ties the story into a bolo rather than a bow tie and exhibits an ironic sense of humor in the vein of Blood Simple-era Cohen brothers. See it on the last night of the festival to provide a little closure to your vacation from American film and then go slog your way through Zack Snyder's Watchmen and wonder what happened to the Hollywood you used to love.

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P. Scott Cunningham