Tango

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama, Musical

While a fine introduction to the fascinating world of tango, this Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Film fails miserably as drama. Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, best known for his highly praised films on flamenco, turns his roving camera and highfalutin style to Argentina's fiery and plangent fusion of music and dance. Incorporating the search for its own...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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While a fine introduction to the fascinating world of tango, this Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Film fails miserably as drama. Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, best known for his highly praised films on flamenco, turns his roving camera and

highfalutin style to Argentina's fiery and plangent fusion of music and dance. Incorporating the search for its own narrative purpose into the story, Saura's latest tribute to dance isn't quite as mesmerizingly seductive as it aims to be. Structured as a film within a film, its forlorn hero is

Mario (Miguel Angel Sola), a middle-aged director who's preparing a film on tango and has just been dumped by his live-in companion. One of the film's backers, a shady gangster named Angelo Larroca (Juan Luis Galiardo), insists that Mario audition his dancer girlfriend Elena (Mia Maestro) for a

part. It comes as no surprise when the randy director -- who's not above making passes at his ex, also a dancer in the production -- takes up with Elena, despite the menacing Larroca and his thugs. Though beautiful, the dance performances -- both political allegories, one a set-piece inspired by

Goya that deals with political dissidents made to "disappear" by the former regime, the other about immigration -- seem like last-minute additions. They're germane to the subject of Argentina, but seem primarily intended to buttress a movie that's already juggling too many disparate stories. How,

you have to ask, does mad love relate to political assassination, or immigration to the origins of tango? Saura's overly long and ponderous meditation strings these elements together and hopes in vain that Vittorio Storaro's gorgeous photography, Lalo Schifrin's sexy score, and the inspired

dancing will cover up the gaps in logic. They don't.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: While a fine introduction to the fascinating world of tango, this Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Film fails miserably as drama. Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, best known for his highly praised films on flamenco, turns his roving camera and highfalutin st… (more)

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