Written and Directed by Matías Piñeiro
2020, 80 minutes
Mariel (María Villar) longs to play the role of Isabella in a local theater troupe's production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, but money problems prevent her from preparing for the audition. She thinks of asking her brother for financial help, but is worried about being too direct. Her solution is to ask her brother's girlfriend, Luciana (Agustina Muñoz), also an actress and a more self-assured one, to convince her brother to give her the money. Luciana agrees on the condition that Mariel will not abandon her acting and continue to prepare for the part of Isabella.
The latest in Matías Piñeiro's series of films inspired by the women of Shakespeare's comedies is his most structurally daring and visually stunning work to date. Through their rich and layered performances, Muñoz and Villar demonstrate a profound intimacy formed over more than a decade of collaboration with their director. Isabella is a film about the ongoing battle between doubt and ambition that never discounts the possibility of a new beginning.
Subjects & Collections
Festivals & Awards
Winner - Special Jury Mention - Berlin Film Festival
Official Selection - The New York Film Festival
Critic's Pick! "Isabella finds [Piñeiro] expanding his formal ambition."
- Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
"A sort of cinematic music... Piñeiro fuses performance and daily life into a quietly mighty architecture of psychological complexity."
-Richard Brody, The New Yorker
-Leo Goldsmith, The Brooklyn Rail
"As fresh as the breeze."
-Stuart Klawans, The Nation
"Another showcase for the screen presence of its two leads, Piñeiro regulars María Villar and Agustina Muñoz, [who] represent individual panels in a grander work of art that has been unfolding for much of the 2010s."
Daniel Fairfax, Senses of Cinema
"Isabella seems like an ending and a beginning of something truly and unquestionably special."
-Joshua Brunsting, Criterion Cast
A dazzling and delightful mystery about love and its follies from filmmaker Matías Piñeiro - named one of "20 Directors to Watch" by The New York Times - VIOLA follows a young woman who joins a small Shakespeare theater company in Buenos Aires and becomes entangled in a seductive roundelay of romantic dalliances, intrigue and revelation.
PRINCESS OF FRANCE (narrative)
Victor returns to Buenos Aires after his father’s death and a stay in Mexico to prepare a radio production of "Love’s Labour’s Lost." Reuniting with his repertory, he finds himself sorting out complicated entanglements with girlfriend Paula, sometime lover Ana, and departed actress Natalia, as well as his muddled relations with the constellation of friends involved with the project.