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Nine Queens (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Nine Queens joins a line of sly thrillers about master-pupil con artists and games within games within games that includes The Sting, House of Games, and Heist. In the first five minutes, we watch an overt scam--a young Argentinian named Juan (Gastón Pauls) running the two-10s-for-a-5 hornswoggle on a convenience store clerk--then find that we have been tricked along with the bystanders as another brand of deception kicks in. And so it goes as Juan, with both trepidation and excitement, drifts into partnership for a day with an older, more cosmopolitan conman, Marcos (Ricardo Darín). Knocking around Buenos Aires--from gritty downtown to cozy neighborhood side streets to a swank hotel where wealth murmurs behind every door--these damnably resourceful scoundrels try not to miss a bet, including an epic swindle involving the titular "Nine Queens," a set of ultrarare stamps. Writer-director Fabián Bielinsky keeps a taut rein on everything, including his own cleverness. The end result is an entertainment as bracingly disciplined as it is ingenious. --Richard T. Jameson
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Set in Buenos Aires, this is the story of two con artists, Marcos, played by Ricardo Darin (Son of the bride) and Juan, played by Gastón Pauls (Nuts for Love), who decide, reluctantly, that they should work together in order to have a big hit, namely, the sale of a fake stamp collection, The Nine Queens. The acting, while not extraordinary, is successful in presenting these two criminals as they perform a variety of cons. The real gem here is the writing; witty dialogues and smart cons fill this film, more precisely when things start to go wrong at every turn for Juan and Marcos and they have to improvise for the con to work. The movie also stars Leticia Bredice as Marcos' unapproving sister.
If you're a fan of the genre, you may be able to discover the twist before the end of the movie, but still, it's a fun ride, and it's refreshingly different from other heist films (i.e. Ocean's eleven, Confidence, et al) as it presents a livelier, fresher Southamerican spirit.
As a foot note, this movie was remade in english by Steven Soderbergh's and George Clooney's production company, Section 8, which coincidentally also made Ocean's eleven and Ocean's twelve, two similarly themed films. The U.S. version stars John C. Reilly (Chicago, Boogie nights) and Diego Luna (Y tu mamá también, Havana nights).
Though writer/director Fabián Bielinsky (who beat approx. 350 other applicants in a screenwriting contest in his native Argentina a la HBO's "Project Greenlight", but with much better results as evidenced by this film) borrows (or pays homage depending on your perspective) heavily from David Mamet's "House of Games" (which is one of my favorite titles in this genre) "Nine Queens" earns its place on the table by bringing it's own a very low key flavor and an incredible eye for supporting characters.
This release is unlike the recent onslaught of wonderful films coming from Latin America (especially Mexico and Argentina) and Spain in that it is made by a first time director and is not as visually stunning as say "Amores Perros", "Burnt Money", or the spectacular "Sex and Lucia", but that should not be a deterrent to watching this film as it's low key direction and nondescript setting make it stand out in it's own way. At times the stakes don't seem as high as they should, or there is no fun camera work, but that makes the process all the more subtle, and, without giving anything away, I was totally surprised (in the best of ways) by the last ten minutes of this movie.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The best heist movie I have ever watched. The plot turns at least 10 times. A must see!Published 13 months ago by Sumgait
I saw this movie years ago and I am so glad I found it still available at Amazon.ca because I always wanted to see it again. One of the best foreign films I've ever seen. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2013 by Ms. George
I admit that I'm a sucker for con movies. The idea of the clever heist intrigues me. What this film has, that many others don't, is the appropriate characterization to understand... Read morePublished on April 22 2004 by Jakeness
I am always hesitant to see a movie after it receives so many rave reviews, becuase it is often dificult for such movies to meet my expectations. Read morePublished on March 26 2004
WOW!!! Great Movie. Gotta see it, gotta have it. A never guessing ending. Lovely actuation.In fact. EXCELLENT!!!Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Karen Mena Cabrera
I lived in Argentina for nearly four years, mostly in Buenos Aires, the capital city and location of this plot. It is well crafted, well interpreted and well produced. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2004 by Gary Heller
Sub-par con artist flick, two con men attempt to pull off the impossible---selling a valuable stamp set to a wealthy financier. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2004
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