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LGM Film Club, Part 195: Chico & Rita

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I decided to watch another in the Criterion Channel series on animation for adults. Chico & Rita is a 2010 Spanish film about a pre-revolutionary Cuban tempestous romance between a singer and a piano player, both destined for jazz stardom, if not each other. The music is great of course, but the film as a whole falls a lot flatter than I’d expect. The story is quite pat and gets pretty ridiculous in the last 15 minutes. I am most certainly no expert on animation, but the line drawings here are also not moving the forward story, leaving it all on the flawed story. The piano player is so obviously based on Ibrahim Ferrer being rediscovered by Ry Cooder that it’s ridiculous. He is even an old bitter shoe shiner in Cuba, which is exactly what Ferrer was doing. There’s a surprising amount of sex in this, making it NSFW. But it’s just not that good of a film, Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature notwithstanding.

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