Wild Tales
Relatos salvajes.jpg
Theatrical release poster
SpanishRelatos salvajes
Directed byDamián Szifron
Written byDamián Szifron
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyJavier Juliá
Edited by
  • Pablo Barbieri Carrera
  • Damián Szifron
Music byGustavo Santaolalla
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • 17 May 2014 (2014-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 21 August 2014 (2014-08-21) (Argentina)
  • 17 October 2014 (2014-10-17) (Spain)
Running time
122 minutes[1]
Countries
  • Argentina
  • Spain
LanguageSpanish
BudgetUS$3.3–4.5 million[a]
Box officeUS$30.6–44.1 million[b]

Wild Tales (Spanish: Relatos salvajes) is a 2014 Spanish-language black comedy anthology film that was written and directed by the Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron. The film, which is a co-production between Argentina and Spain, is composed of six standalone shorts with a common theme of catharsis, violence and vengeance. The film has an ensemble cast consisting of Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Darío Grandinetti. Because of Szifron's desire to work with Darín and Martínez, these actors were allowed to choose the role they wanted.

Four of the film's stories were partly based on Szifron's real-life experiences and were all planned either as thrillers or dramas. Wild Tales was co-produced by three Argentine studios, and Agustín's and Pedro Almodóvar's Spanish company El Deseo. The brothers joined Kramer & Sigman Films, Telefe Productions and Corner Contenidos after seeing Szifron's previous film On Probation (2005). Wild Tales was filmed in Argentina between April and May 2013, and cost US$3.3–4.5 million[a]—70% of which came from Argentina and 30% from Spain.

Wild Tales is based on Szifron's understanding of Western capitalist society as a cage, and depicts the moment at which some people become so frustrated by their surroundings they cannot behave in the socially expected manner. As such, he describes it as a film about the common human need for freedom against society's need to psychologically repress humans' animalistic features. The director believed its theme of man versus a system which may have the cards stacked against them would have universal appeal because of global wealth inequality.

The film received critical acclaim, particularly for being a good example of an engaging anthology film, for its cast (mainly Rivas), humor, cinematography, and music. It won many accolades, including eight of ten Platino Awards, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, and the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, and for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Wild Tales is the most-seen Argentine film of all time[c] and was a box-office record-holder in Argentina, grossing US$11.7–21.1 million there for a total of $30.6–44.1 million worldwide.[b][d]

Plot

Wild Tales is composed of six short segments; "Pasternak", "Las ratas" ("The Rats"), "El más fuerte" ("The Strongest"), "Bombita" ("Little Bomb"), "La propuesta" ("The Proposal"), and "Hasta que la muerte nos separe" ("Till Death Do Us Part"). In the American localisation, the third and fifth sections had their names changed to "Road to Hell" and "The Bill".

"Pasternak"

Two passengers on an airplane start a conversation and discover they both know a man named Gabriel Pasternak; the woman (María Marull), his ex-girlfriend, had sex with his only friend and the man (Darío Grandinetti), a music critic, savagely reviewed Pasternak's work. In fact, everyone on the flight (both passengers and crew members) is connected to Pasternak, including a former school teacher, a former classmate, and a hotel manager who fired him. A flight attendant reveals Pasternak is the plane's cabin chief and has locked himself inside the cockpit. Amid the panic, as Pasternak's former psychiatrist tries to reason with him, Pasternak crashes the airplane into his parents' house.

"Las ratas"

At a highway restaurant, a waitress (Julieta Zylberberg) recognizes a loan shark (César Bordón) who had, years before, ruined her family and caused her father's untimely death. The cook (Rita Cortese) offers to mix rat poison into the man's food. The waitress refuses the offer but unbeknown to her, the cook adds the poison anyway. When the waitress finds out, she does not take the food away from the man. The loan shark's teenage son arrives and begins to share his father's meal. Worried the boy might eat the poison, the waitress tries to remove the plate; she throws food in the man's face and he attacks her. The cook kills the loan shark with a chef's knife. In the last scene, the loan shark's son is getting medical treatment from a responding ambulance while the waitress sits next to him. The cook is arrested and is driven away in a police car.

"El más fuerte"

Diego (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is driving through a desert and tries to overtake a slower, older car that consistently blocks his path. When he finally passes, he insults the other driver, Mario (Walter Donado). Further up the road, Diego gets a flat tire while Mario catches up. Mario parks his car in front of Diego's, smashes Diego's windshield, and then defecates and urinates on it. When Mario is about to leave, Diego pushes him and his car into the river, and drives off. Fearing retribution, Diego returns to run down Mario but loses control and crashes into the river. Mario enters Diego's car and the men start to fight. Mario leaves Diego to be strangled by a seat belt; he then rips off a piece of his shirt, sets fire to it, and places it in the gas tank to incinerate the car but Diego prevents him from escaping. As the car explodes, the tow truck driver called by Diego arrives. The police later discover the two men's charred bodies holding onto each other and mistake them for lovers who died in a crime of passion.

"Bombita"

Simón Fischer (Ricardo Darín), a demolition expert, picks up a cake for his daughter's birthday party and discovers his car has been towed. He goes to the towed-car lot and explains there were no signs of a no-parking zone. He grudgingly pays the towing fee and misses his daughter's party. The next day, when Simón is refused a refund for the fee at the DMV, he attacks a glass partition and is arrested. The story makes the news and Simón's employer fires him, and his wife (Nancy Dupláa) seeks a divorce and sole custody of their daughter. After Fischer unsuccessfully applies for another job, he discovers his car has again been towed. He retrieves the car, packs it with explosives, and parks it in a tow zone. After it is towed again, he detonates the explosives, destroying the towing office with no casualties. Simón is imprisoned and becomes a local hero, earning the nickname "Bombita" ("Little bomb"), and calls on social media for his release. Simón's wife and daughter visit him in prison for his birthday, presenting him with a cake in the form of a tow truck.

"La propuesta"

A teenager, driving his wealthy father's car, arrives home after running into a pregnant woman and driving away thereby committing a felony hit-and-run. On the local news, the woman and her child are reported dead, and her husband swears vengeance. The teenage driver's parents (Oscar Martínez and María Onetto) form a plan with his lawyer (Osmar Núñez) to use the parent's groundskeeper José (Germán de Silva) as a scapegoat in exchange for half a million dollars. The local prosecutor (Diego Velázquez), however, sees through the scheme. The lawyer negotiates to include the prosecutor in the deal for more money, but the guilty son says he wants to confess to the crowd that has gathered outside the house. Frustrated, the father calls off the deal, telling his son to confess. The lawyer renegotiates, still blaming José, but now for a lower price. As José is taken away by the police, the dead woman's husband repeatedly strikes him on the head with a hammer.

"Hasta que la muerte nos separe"

At a Jewish wedding[7] party, the bride Romina (Érica Rivas) discovers her groom Ariel (Diego Gentile) has had sex with one of the guests. Romina confronts Ariel as they dance in front of everyone, and in distress, Romina runs to the roof, where a kitchen worker comforts her. Ariel discovers Romina having sex with the worker; she tells Ariel she will sleep with every man who shows her interest, and will take everything Ariel owns if he tries to divorce her, or when he dies. The couple return to the party and continue the festivities. Romina pulls the woman with whom Ariel had sex onto the dance floor, spins her around, and slams her into a mirror. Romina orders the photographer to film Ariel and his mother weeping, declaring she will show the video at a future wedding. Ariel's mother attacks Romina but Ariel and Romina's father pull her off, and Romina collapses with emotion. Ariel approaches Romina and extends a hand. They dance, kiss, and begin to have sex as the guests leave.

Production

Producer Pedro Almodóvar (left) was interested to work with director-writer Damián Szifron since he saw Szifron's 2005 film On Probation.[3]

In 2007, director Damián Szifron took a break from directing and producing television series and focused on writing.[3] He worked on three major projects at the same time; a science-fiction film series, a western, and a love story; Szifron was writing short stories to "let off steam" and eventually realized they were related.[8][9][10] There were initially twelve to fifteen tales, out of which he chose the "wilder" ones.[11][12] In a 2015 interview, Szifron explained that all the stories are based on real-life situations of people he has known or that Szifron went through himself. From that platform, he gave imagination free reign.[9][13] In a more recent interview he tells of getting into an argument with another driver, and pulling over to write, immediately, the story that became "El más fuerte".[13]

At first, all of the stories were written to be independent and each of them could have been made into a film. Szifron thought the stories would have more impact when grouped so he decided to "reduce the conflicts to its minimum and find their climaxes".[14] Often described as a black-humor film, Szifron stressed the stories were not planned as comedies but rather as a thriller or as a drama;[10] according to Szifron, "they begin as dramas. The humor is a consequence of what these characters feel in a very dramatic situation."[15] Ultimately, he thought neither comedy nor drama were appropriate labels, and decided "catastrophe movie" was the best term for it.[16]

All of the stories are very different; production designer Clara Notari said; "They have their own visual identity, as if each were a different movie, with its own spatial dimensions, colors, style, textures and set decoration".[3] Despite this, Szifron said they "are vital organs of the same body" that sustain the film[17] and "together [they] are more robust and make a larger universe".[14] Because of this desire, Szifron abandoned an early pre-production idea of having each episode done in different cinematographic styles—the fifth story would be in black-and-white; the second would be filmed with anamorphic lenses and 35mm film, and the last would be made with video cameras.[18] The director said the film's strength is not in the connection between the stories, and that "they are independent stories, with separate independent characters and conflicts".[14] Szifron said this is because he was inspired by concept and jazz albums, and by the circus. For the albums, the tracks—although a unity—have their "own identity"; during a circus spectacle the different acts have value for different reasons but they are one whole.[9] Szifron was also influenced by television anthology series Amazing Stories,[19] Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone;[15] as well as the film New York Stories and the book Nine Stories.[19][20]

Wild Tales is a co-production of the Argentine firms Kramer & Sigman Films, Telefe Productions and Corner Contenidos; and the Spanish company El Deseo, which is owned by Agustín and Pedro Almodóvar.[21][22][23] The Almodóvars became interested in working with Szifron after watching his 2005 film On Probation, saying they wanted to work with Szifron on his next project.[3][24] With a budget of US$3.3–4.5 million[a]—70% from Argentina and 30% from Spain—Wild Tales had an eight-week filming schedule in April and May 2013[3] at locations in Buenos Aires, Salta and Jujuy provinces.[14][21] The third and final acts were the most expensive to film;[4] the third act was filmed on the road that connects Salta and Cafayate[25] because, according to Szifron, "the script required a desolate route with stunning scenery and degrees of sobriety" to have a contrast between the violence of the fight and the beauty of the environment.[26] When filming concluded, there was enough material for "three different movies with different takes"[10] so Szifron went through a six-to-seven-month editing process, which was done in his house.[10][13]

Szifron considered each of the main cast members to be main-role actors who rarely star together in the same film.[13] The director said it was possible to assemble these "very important actors" because they appreciated the screenplays and because filming for each segment only took ten days.[13] Szifron already wanted to work with Darín and Martínez, who were given the opportunity to choose the role they wanted.[9]

Themes

According to Damián Szifron:

We are all conscious that this system is not organised in our benefit. We behave like good citizens, we pay our taxes and we are law abiding citizens and buy the products that they sell to us but at the same time we all feel uncomfortable, as the ceiling is low or we didn’t have oxygen. This creates a great pressure that reflects in our love life or family life. We suffer this lack of time, this extreme difficulty to make money and do so many things that we are not interested in. Facing that reality, a lot of people get depressed and some others explode. This is a film about those who explode, those who cross the limit and reveal how really things work.[27]

According to Szifron, despite the film's common themes of catharsis, violence and vengeance,[20][28][29] the stories are connected by "the fuzzy boundary that separates civilization from barbarism, the vertigo of losing your temper, and the undeniable pleasure of losing control".[21] This is explored through the concept of human beings having animalistic features. Szifron considers the main difference between humans and animals is the capacity to restrain oneself, whereas non-human animals are guided by their instincts. Humans "have a fight or flee mechanism, but it comes with a very high cost. Most of us live with the frustration of having to repress oneself, but some people explode. This is a movie about those who explode".[17]

Wild Tales deals with aspects of daily life and "is a movie about the desire for freedom, and how this lack of freedom, and the rage and anguish it produces, can cause us to run off the rails".[17] The characters' lives are also connected because they are "losing time in things they don't care about" and trying to keep up a socially-expected façade. Szifron said the film is "a reflection of millions of people who just waste their lives" because they do not do what they love within a system that is "not designed for the majority".[30]

The film is said to feature "political anger"[19] and "political subversiveness",[31] and, according to La Capital, it has prompted debates about its "sociological and political side".[32] Psychologist Diana Paulozky, in an interview for La Voz del Interior, said Wild Tales' includes both visible and constrained violence, cynicism, moral hypocrisy, and denigration that may induce public turmoil.[33] La Capital promoted a debate about the film with social security specialist Martín Appiolaza and sociologist Daniel Cholakian. Appiolaza said the film shows structural violence and specific violence towards school and work, and among couples, as well as types of discrimination. He concluded; "the theme of the film is the inequality that arouses violent reactions".[32] Cholakian stated it depicts the violence that involves upper-middle-class, urban people, and that the main victims of social violence are the poorest people; "So the film is light years from reflecting the universality of that theme".[32] Cholakian also refused to discuss violence in Wild Tales and dared to think Szifron would agree with him.[32] Szifron said the film's themes of "government and corporate corruption and bureaucratic malfeasance ... have a universal resonance ... in a world where power is concentrated in the hands of a small group of wealthy and powerful individuals".[15]

Several reviewers interpreted the film as a critique of 21st-century Argentinean daily life[34][35] or "a backdrop of 20th century Argentine oppression".[36] Szifron, however, said it could be set "in any other country and in any other period of time".[15] He said the central theme is universal; "man versus a system that's designed against him, not to facilitate life, but to take things out of you".[15] As such, it criticizes several problems and "frustrations of contemporary life",[37] including government and corporate corruption, bureaucratic malfeasance,[15] economic and social inequality,[37] abuse of power,[18] emotional and physical abuse,[19] class and gender bias,[38] social exigence of marriage,[27] macho culture, and the need for revenge.[39] It deals with money, power and elitism,[40] and depicts people as selfish, disloyal and materialistic.[19] In such a "social Darwinian world",[41] the acts of vengeance are usually motivated by class or economic conflicts,[42] beneath which is a desire to break free from what Szifron referred to as the "transparent cage" of Western capitalist and consumeristic society.[19][20][43] The main issue, according to Szifron, "is the pleasure of reacting, the pleasure of reacting toward injustice".[15] According to the film's producer Pedro Almodóvar, the film was not meant to support vigilantism: catharsis is only used to stimulate the action.[44]

James Rickman of Paper called Wild Tales "a cri de coeur against the personal and political barriers that block human curiosity".[30] Claudia Puig of USA Today said it explores "the dark side of humanity and the dehumanization of society",[45] while, according to Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post, it is "a sharply observed case study in human nature".[46] Eric Kohn of IndieWire said the last segment alters the film's overall meaning; "The bizarrely touching conclusion is a cynical take on the ups and downs of a relationship, hinting at the idea that even a mad world divided against itself thrives on the need for companionship".[38] Ty Burr from Boston Globe concluded, "there is no lasting meaning, other than that people are funny, nasty animals when pushed to their limits".[47]

Release and reception

Marketing and release

Warner Bros. Pictures was the Argentine distributor of Wild Tales.[33] Juliana Rodríguez of La Voz del Interior described its marketing as a "huge operation" which included film posters, in the streets and in public buses, and billboard pieces (gigantografías) featuring its characters. Warner Bros. screened the film's trailer at facilities and published previews, banners, clips, and photographs on social media.[33] The film had its world premiere on 17 May 2014 at the Cannes Film Festival,[48] which created much anticipation for its Argentine debut.[33][49] Prior to the domestic release in late July and early August 2014, Szifron and the cast appeared on the Argentine television talk shows of Susana Giménez and Mirtha Legrand.[50][51] A comment by Szifron on Mirtha Legrand's show attracted some controversy on Twitter and was officially denounced;[51] Rodríguez said it generated involuntary publicity.[33]

The film's release was originally planned for 14 August but a strike by the trade union of theater workers caused Warner Bros. to postpone it.[49] The film opened in Argentina on 21 August 2014.[5] During its first weekend, it set the country's record for an opening with 450,000 tickets (approximately US$2.5 million).[22] After 24 days, it had become the most-seen film of the year in Argentina with more than two million views in 275 cinemas.[23] By September, it was estimated to have sold more than 2.4 million tickets.[52] In the same month, it became the first domestic film to exceed 100 million pesos (US$12 million) at the box office.[27] By the end of its theatrical run, Wild Tales had sold over 3.9 million tickets, making it the most-seen Argentine film of all time[c] while also grossing US$11.7–21.1 million in Argentina.[d] Sony Pictures Classics distributed Wild Tales in the United States, Canada, and Australia; Warner Bros. also distributed it in France and Spain.[3] On 17 October 2014, it debuted in Spain, where it grossed over $4.3 million.[5] Wild Tales was exhibited in about 30 countries, grossing over $3.1 million in the United States, $2.6 million in France, and over $1 million in Germany, Italy, and Brazil,[5] for a worldwide gross of $30.6–44.1 million.[b]

Critical reception

Best of 2014 Rank Ref(s)
Tom Brook, BBC 3rd [56]
Drew McWeeny, HitFix 3rd
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter 7th
Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter 8th
Anne Thompson, Thompson on Hollywood 9th
Richard Corliss, Time 9th
Best of 2015 Rank Ref(s)
Dennis Dermody, Paper 2nd [57]
Kimber Myers, The Playlist 6th
David Chen, Slashfilm 8th
Staff consensus, Uncut 8th
Seongyong Cho, RogerEbert.com 9th

Wild Tales was critically acclaimed.[18] In Argentina, its appraisal by Clarín was "a phenomenal reception",[58] and English-speaking reviewers were also favorable.[59][60] On Rotten Tomatoes, based on 156 reviews, Wild Tales holds a 94% "fresh" rating and an average score of 8/10. The critical consensus says it is "Wickedly hilarious and delightfully deranged, Wild Tales is a subversive satire that doubles as a uniformly entertaining anthology film".[59] Metacritic reports an average score of 77 based on 33 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[60] Praise was most often given to its narrative, cinematography, acting, screenplay, and the buildup to the climax.[33] Occasional detractors said the film has a misanthropic or weak moral, a gimmicky intention, and predictable and repetitive stories.[33]

Time writer Richard Corliss compared Wild Tales to stories by Ambrose Bierce and Roald Dahl, calling it "the year's most fearlessly funny film", and naming it the ninth-best film of 2014.[61] Five other critics placed it in their top 10 films of 2014, and five more did the same in 2015.[56][57] Also in 2015, the Cuban Association of Film Press considered it the best film release in the country that year.[62] In 2018, the BBC polled 209 film experts from 43 countries to name the 100 best foreign-language films; although Wild Tales did not make the main list, two critics placed it in their top 10s.[63]

Elaine Teng of The New Republic and Nicholas Barber of The Guardian praised Wild Tales as a good example of an anthology film; Teng said it is "the rare anthology movie that transcends the limits of its form".[35][64] O'Sullivan praised its tone and presentation,[46] while Burr and Mar Diestro-Dópido of Sight & Sound praised its storytelling; Diestro-Dópido said each part makes up "a coherent, exuberant whole".[47][19] Clarín critic Pablo O. Scholz said although each story's tone is different, Scholz stated the film keeps up a tension that grabs the public's attention.[58] Similarly, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote Wild Tales makes "you never lose interest for a moment".[65] Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times was critical of the film's pace, calling it "dreary".[42] Robert Horton from Seattle Weekly criticized it for relying on twists, "a technique that doesn't quite disguise how in-your-face the lessons are", and called the film "a scattering of gotchas".[39]

Jay Weissberg of Variety commented while "the overall enjoyment rarely flags", "not all the episodes are equally successful".[28] He, Peter Howell of Toronto Star and O'Sullivan said "The Bill" felt displaced within the film;[28][46][66] he said it has a "darker tone". O'Sullivan criticized the film's "mood of bitter cynicism"[46] and according to Puig, it "borders on melodrama".[45] The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney considered it and "Bombita" have "a more sober tone" that the "delirious mayhem" of the opening three stories.[37] Piug said the first segment is "a perfect starter"[45] and Horton said the rest of the film "doesn't live up to the wicked curtain-raiser".[39] Steven Rea of Philly.com considered it to the best segment along with the last one.[67] While Jordan Hoffman of the New York Daily News called the last story "the most outrageous",[68] Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly called "The Bill" the best segment,[34] and David Edelstein of Vulture.com considered "Bombita" "the purest of all the tales, the one that distills the mad-as-hell vigilante".[69] Nashawaty criticized "Road to Hell" because it "feel[s] like [a] cheeky one-joke setup in search of a second or third joke".[34] Weissberg praised "Szifron's consummate skill at narration and setup, combined with inventive absurdity, makes it fresh and thoroughly entertaining".[28]

Érica Rivas's portrayal of the last segment's bride was met with positive appraisal. She won four awards for her performance.[70][71][72][73]
Érica Rivas's portrayal of the last segment's bride was met with positive appraisal. She won four awards for her performance.[70][71][72][73]

According to Rooney, the cast is consistent through the episodes;[37] and said to be "superb" by Diestro-Dópido.[19] Érica Rivas received particular praise[65][74] for her "star-making performance", according to Bruce Ingram of Chicago Sun-Times.[75] While David Edelstein of Vulture.com said the cast is "incredibly credible given the characters' outlandish behavior,"[69] Horton was critical of the characterization, stating characters have "illogical behavior", mostly in the last segment.[39] According to Richard Brody of The New Yorker, Wild Tales "offers little in the way of context or characterization" and the "characters behave so rudely and crudely, there's no reason to care about what happens to them".[76] O'Sullivan wrote; "The protagonists are exaggerated without being caricatures"[46] and according to Hoffman, "All are funny because all feel true".[68] Puig, Rea and Diestro-Dópido also said the characters are believable and relatable because most viewers would feel familiar with the situations and frustrations the characters experience.[19][45][67]

Ariston Anderson from Filmmaker commented Wild Tales is funny and "There is truly never a dull moment" in it.[10] According to Weissberg, the humor is "subversive", managing "to be both psychologically astute and all-out outrageous".[28] Diestro-Dópido said; "The humour of Wild Tales is pitch-black, its irony razor-sharp, its sarcasm painfully perverse and its unpredictability ludicrous, violent but also bitingly funny".[19] Manohla Dargis from The New York Times compared the film's use of humor and coincidence to O. Henry's work,[41] as did Nashawaty because of its "ironic twist endings".[34] Praise was also directed towards Javier Juliá's cinematography;[65] "visuals are flawless" said Weissberg, who praised both its special effects and its cinematography, whose "lean sense of irony ... adds to the general pleasure".[28] The reason it is a "good-looking film ... crafted in high style" is, in Rooney's opinion, "lots of eye-catching touches from production designer Clara Notari and unconventional camera angles from cinematographer Javier Juliá".[37] For Howell, Juliá "imparts a visual appreciation of the absurd that's somewhere between a Looney Tunes cartoon and Grand Guignol theatre".[66] Rooney called the music by Gustavo Santaollala "a terrific spaghetti Western-flavored score".[37] Weissberg said the soundtrack "fits the tone without pushing any wink-wink superiority".[28]

Both in Europe and Latin America, film critics dubbed Wild Tales; "Characters on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown", alluding to Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which Almodóvar considered a fair comparison.[17] According to Rooney, Almodóvar's influence is "there in the off-kilter humor, in the stylish visuals and bold use of music, and in the affection for ordinary people pushed to extraordinary extremes".[37] Bob Mondello of NPR said the last segment "is weird, sexy and violent enough to make you think of the wild tales of director Pedro Almodóvar".[77] Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter called Wild Tales a mix of Luis Buñuel, Rod Serling and Almodóvar;[78] several other critics compared its style to that of Buñuel,[38][79] especially its absurdism[65][80] and the deterioration of normal life into savagery.[80][81] Critics also noted similarities between Wild Tales and the works of Alfred Hitchcock,[82][83][84] Pulp Fiction,[15][29][34] Steven Spielberg's Duel,[15][29] Michael Douglas-starring Falling Down,[15] Tales from the Crypt,[79] and Emir Kusturica.[29] While "Pasternak" was often compared to The Twilight Zone because of its series of revelations,[39][45][77] the third segment was often compared to a Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon,[41][66] and was said to have slapstick touches[75][77] and to be "Tarantino-esque".[45][77] It was also labeled "a cross between Steven Spielberg's Duel and a violent Tom and Jerry cartoon" by Nashawaty,[34] and "a combination of Deliverance and an R-rated Wile E. Coyote cartoon" by Liam Lacey of The Globe and Mail.[85]

Cultural impact

The New York Times reported Wild Tales became "a genuine social phenomenon" and that some characters gained a cult status. The film inspired "I am Bombita" to become a catchphrase similar to "going postal" in the United States. Rivas, who appears in the last story, said she has been stopped in the street and asked several times to say "Film this for me, Nestor!".[17]

After the 2015 crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, BFI and Curzon cinemas modified their home cinema listings of Wild Tales, stating there is a similarity between the fictional crash at the start of the film and the Germanwings crash.[86]

Accolades and public reception

At the Cannes Film Festival, Wild Tales was selected to compete for the main prize, the Palme d'Or,[87] and had a ten-minute standing ovation.[88] The film's popularity rapidly grew according to The Hollywood Reporter, becoming a fan favorite during its exhibitions at Telluride and Toronto film festivals.[78] After its praised festival tour,[22] the American talent agency William Morris Endeavor contacted Szifron[4] and Wild Tales was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.[22][89] The film received a record of 21 nominations at the Sur Awards, of which it won ten, including Best Film and Best Director.[90][70]

Wild Tales won seven of the eleven awards for which it was nominated at the Silver Condor Awards.[91][71] Of its nine nominations at the 29th Goya Awards, it won the Best Ibero-American Film.[92] Wild Tales won eight of ten awards the second Platino Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.[93][72] The film also won the award for the Best Non-English Language Film at the BAFTA Awards,[94] the Best Ibero-American Film at the Ariel Awards,[95] the Best Latin-American Film at the Forqué Awards;[96] and the audience awards at the film festivals of Biarritz, San Sebastián, São Paulo, and Sarajevo.[73][97][98] Rivas won four awards, the most of several cast members who were nominated for awards;[70][71][72][73] and Martínez wontwo awards.[70][71]

List of awards and nominations
Award Category Recipients[e] Result
Academy Awards[22][89] Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Ariel Awards[95] Best Ibero-American Film Won
Biarritz Film Festival[73] Audience Award Won
Best Actress Érica Rivas Won
British Academy Film Awards[94] Best Film Not in the English Language Won
Cannes Film Festival[87] Palme d'Or Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards[99] Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards[99] Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Havana Film Festival[100][101][102] Best Film Nominated
Best Director Damián Szifron Won
Best Editing Damián Szifron, Pablo Barbieri Won
Glauber Rocha Award Won
Forqué Awards[96] Best Film Nominated
Best Latin-American Film Won
Goya Awards[92] Best Film Nominated
Best Ibero-American Film Won
Best Director Damián Szifron Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Damián Szifron Nominated
Best Actor Ricardo Darín Nominated
Best Original Score Gustavo Santaolalla Nominated
Best Editing Pablo Barbieri, Damián Szifron Nominated
Best Production Supervision Esther Garcia Nominated
Best Makeup and Hairstyles Marisa Amenta, Néstor Burgos Nominated
National Board of Review Awards[99] Best Foreign Language Film Won
Platino Awards[93][72] Best Film Won
Best Director Damián Szifron Won
Best Screenplay Damián Szifron Won
Best Actor Leonardo Sbaraglia Nominated
Best Actress Érica Rivas Won
Best Original Music Gustavo Santaolalla Won
Best Film Editing Damián Szifron, Pablo Barbieri Won
Best Art Direction Clara Notari Won
Best Cinematography Javier Juliá Nominated
Best Sound José Luis Díaz Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards[99] Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Satellite Awards[99] Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
San Sebastián Film Festival[97] Audience Award for Best European Film Won
São Paulo International Film Festival[98] Audience Award Won
Sarajevo Film Festival[98] Audience Award Won
Silver Condor Awards[91][71] Best Film Nominated
Best Director Damián Szifron Won
Best Supporting Actor Oscar Martínez Won
Best Supporting Actress Érica Rivas Won
Rita Cortese Nominated
Best New Actor Diego Gentilez Won
Best Original Screenplay Damián Szifron Nominated
Best Cinematography Javier Juliá Nominated
Best Editing Damián Szifron, Pablo Barbieri Won
Best Original Music Gustavo Santaolalla Won
Best Sound José Luis Díaz Won
St. Louis Film Critics Association Awards[103] Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Sur Awards[90][70] Best Film Won
Best Director Damián Szifron Won
Best Actor Ricardo Darín Nominated
Oscar Martínez Won
Leonardo Sbaraglia Nominated
Best Actress Érica Rivas Won
Rita Cortese Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Germán de Silva Won
Diego Gentile Nominated
Osmar Núñez Nominated
Best Supporting Actress María Onetto Nominated
Best New Actor Diego Velázquez Nominated
Walter Donado Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Damián Szifron Won
Best Cinematography Javier Juliá Won
Best Editing Damián Szifron, Pablo Barbieri Won
Best Art Direction Clara Notari Nominated
Best Costume Design Ruth Fischerman Nominated
Best Original Music Gustavo Santaolalla Won
Best Sound José Luis Díaz Won
Best Make Up Marisa Amenta Nominated
WAFCA Awards[99] Best Foreign Language Film Nominated

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Télam said it was produced on a budget of $3.3 million,[2] while The Hollywood Reporter and ScreenDaily said it had a 4 million budget,[3] and Variety reported a $4.5 million cost.[4]
  2. ^ a b c Box Office Mojo reports it grossed $30,642,704,[5] while Télam stated this value surpassed 40 million,[2] and Variety said this figure was of $44.1 million.[6]
  3. ^ a b The Argentine film industry only started to register film box office attendance through reliable data in 1997. According to this data, The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) was the record holder for tickets sold at 2,410,592 at the time Wild Tales premiered. By September 2014, Wild Tales had broken the record having been watched by 2,414,000 people.[52] Unofficial records, however, indicated 1970s films Nazareno Cruz y el lobo and El santo de la espada were attended by 3.4–3.5 million and 2.6 million, respectively.[52][53] In December, it was announced that Wild Tales's attendance had exceeded 3.4 million people, making it the record holder by any data.[54] It later reached 3.9 million tickets sold,[12][55]
  4. ^ a b Box Office Mojo reports a gross of $11,783,141,[5] while Variety informed it earned $16.7 million,[4] and ScreenDaily said its box office was $21.1 million in Argentina.[12]
  5. ^ When this space is blank it indicates that the film itself was the recipient.

References

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