Review: ‘The Best of Feelings’

A not-quite-story of three ghastly women who scream at each other while doing inexplicable things.

Perhaps the first thing to note about Marcos Villasenor’s “The Best of Feelings” is that it’s the first Italian-Mexican co-production in recent memory. Also worth mentioning is that it is colossally pretentious, studiously unpleasant and utterly unintelligible. A not-quite-story of three ghastly women who scream at each other while doing inexplicable things, the pic might get some play at the more outre festivals, particularly those where onanistic exercises are prized above actual storytelling and craft.

The film is divided into three sections, devoted to the diverse perspectives of three women: a catatonic matriarch; a sociopathic party girl; and, for good measure, a psychopathic goth girl. It’s then fractured further, cut into nonlinear fragments that connect in ways meant to mimic the ebb and flow of memory, with transitions hinging on key words and images. It would be an interesting technique if these characters’ actions made sense: Villasenor never bothers to connect any narrative threads, though he allots ample time to projectile vomiting, violent sex, vivisected animals and all sorts of other transgressive images presented with all the subtlety of a toddler eating worms on the playground.

The Best of Feelings

Mexico - Italy

Production

A Spiralia Films presentation. Produced by Shingo Inoue. Directed, written by Marcos Villasenor.

Crew

Camera (color), Alonso Mejia; editor, Samantha Bergstrom; production designer, Julie Djohan; costume designers, Linda Hornquist, Philippe Werhan. Reviewed at Hola Mexico Film Festival, Los Angeles, June 11, 2009. Original title: I migliori sentimenti. Italian dialogue. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Majlinda Agaj, Vanda Cantele, Francesca Corigliano, Toni Pandolfo, Enzo Giraldo.
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