REVIEW: The Headless Woman

The Headless Woman
Directed by: Lucrecia Martel
Written by: Lucrecia Martel (screenplay)
Starring: María Onetto, Claudia Cantero, César Bordón, and Daniel Genoud

I glanced at Film Comment’s top films of 2009 expecting to see the usual: The Hurt Locker, Precious, Avatar, and Up in the Air.  Other than the first one, I saw none of them in the top twenty.  Occupying the number two slot on that list, which polls many of the countries most prominent film critics, was this unassuming low budget picture from Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel.

The Headless Woman follows Veronica (María Onetto), a wealthy dentist who hits something- maybe a dog, maybe a child- with her car.  She stops for a moment on the dusty road, but does not get out.  The guilt plagues her, destroying her image of herself and making her an alien in her own life.  The premise doesn’t allow for much in the way of story, but this is an excellent character study.

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