Leading light of the New Argentine Cinema, Martín Rejtman returns with his first film in nearly a decade (following Two Shots Fired, NYFF52), a shrewd deadpan comedy that provides further evidence that few directors are as adept at dramatizing the absurdity of the mundane. Gustavo (Esteban Bigliardi), an Argentinean yoga instructor living in Chile, has recently separated from his wife, which leaves him essentially without an apartment and complicates keeping his business afloat. Adding injury to insult, he’s dealing with a torn meniscus, a meddling mother, a new client who might be a thief and another who gets amnesia during a session. A flirtation with a former student, Laura (Camila Hirane), brings promise for the future. Directed and acted with wry precision, the entrancing La Práctica is a sardonic yet loving immersion into a world in which wellness retreats and physical and spiritual self-improvement naturally exist side-by-side with romantic and professional neuroses.
Recommended Film Comment reading:
Sign up to the Film Comment Letter for NYFF61 coverage and more original film criticism year-round.