Fernando Eimbcke's Duck Season is on the surface such a simple film that I keep forgetting how much of it I enjoyed. There are some personally relative morsels that remain vividly in my consciousness, but above all it plays out with such a soothing, leisurely calm, its resonating effects easily go unnoticed. Though filled with ideas, it hardly sparks reflection let alone discussion. Instead it affects a negligibly warm sensation, not like a feel-good movie does, but like an afternoon with friends or a piece of candy taken for granted in their accessibility.

Yet it appears to be significant to some, enough to sweep Mexico's Ariel Awards (their equivalent to our Oscars), win the Grand Jury Prize at The AFI Fest, contend for the best foreign film at this year's Independent Spirit Awards, and find a gracious fan in director Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), who secured its American distribution by presenting it under his new Esperanto Filmoj banner. Not bad for a glorified student film, black and white and all, about two pals in an apartment with nothing to do. With its inordinately stylish direction Duck Season would work best as a calling card, but surprisingly it has served Eimbcke as an all-out initiation into the club.

categories Reviews, Cinematical