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Argentine filmmaker Matías Piñeiro continues to explore the porous line between performance and daily ritual in his most visually striking film yet. As in such subtly magical dramas of the everyday as The Princess of France (NYFF52) and Hermia & Helena (NYFF54), Piñeiro uses a Shakespeare text to anchor a loose yet intellectually rigorous examination of life’s loves, labors, and futile pursuits, all played out with the minutest of gestures. Isabella uses Measure for Measure as inspiration, with regular Piñeiro players María Villar and Agustina Muñoz as Mariel, a teacher with stage aspirations, and Luciana, a more established actress. The filmmaker jumps around in time, from the days leading up to a crucial audition to years later, after the women have moved on to other dreams; meanwhile we keep returning to their collaboration on an entrancing, James Turrell–like light installation. Piñeiro’s art has never been more graceful or structurally complex as in this work of solace amid anxiety and doubt. An NYFF58 selection. A Cinema Guild Release.

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Watch our Q&A from the 58th New York Film Festival below.