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61 Ratings

Old Cats

Gatos viejos

Chile, United States, 2010


Isidora, an old woman, discovers that her mind is quickly deteriorating. At an apparently relaxed dinner table, she will desperately try to hide her state from her daughter, a demanding woman who awaits any sign of senility in order to take away everything she has.

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Old Cats Directed by Sebastián Silva, Pedro Peirano
In some respects, Old Cats… recalls Silva’s sophomore project from 2009, The Maid (also co-written with Peirano). Both films are confined almost exclusively to a single dwelling and center on a fractious nuclear family; two performers from The Maid reappear in Old Cats. Each movie reveals Silva’s mastery of tone shifts, from domestic horror to mordant hilarity—which is more pronounced in Old Cats—to well-earned, never maudlin reconciliation.
August 20, 2013
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…These questions deepen the experience of watching Old Cats, but the directors’ inability to completely meld their broadest and most sensitive tendencies results in an oddly lopsided film. Though Celedón and Saavedra… give chameleonic, full-throttle, lived-in performances, their entrance into the narrative is an emotional, even aesthetic hurtle the film never quite gets over.
August 20, 2013
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Castro underplays Isadora’s disorientation, retreating into herself. Her slack-featured face almost expressionless, she conveys Isadora’s bewilderment and fascination, her incipient senility less malady than head-trip. Sieveking and Saavedra fashion an awkward camaraderie between Enrique and Hugo, an ideal balance to the heavyweights they’re meant to protect. And by resisting histrionics, Celedón modulates Rosario’s resentment and greed to reveal the underlying pain.
August 19, 2013
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