Friday, May 26, 2017
Piñeiro’s quiet virtuosity, which binds the movie’s relentless energy
to intimate discoveries, is giddily thrilling.
Much of what’s enrapturing about this deceptive wisp of a film is contained in this gentle flourish.
The film is delightful in ways that are deeply if obscurely deliberate.
Shooting outside his native Argentina for the first time, New York–based Matias Piñeiro fashions a bittersweet comedy of coupling and uncoupling that doubles as a love letter to his adopted city. Working on a Spanish translation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream during an artist residency, Camila (Agustina Muñoz) finds herself within a constellation of shifting relationships (an old flame, a new one, a long-lost relative). Mingling actors from the director’s Buenos Aires repertory with stalwarts of New York’s independent film scene (Keith Poulson, Dustin Guy Defa, Dan Sallitt), Hermia & Helena offers the precise gestures, mercurial moods, and youthful energies of all Piñeiro’s cinema, with an emotional depth and directness that make this his most mature work yet.