I come to praise an actor who should be better known. Charismatic yet seedy, Ricardo Darín dominated the thriller Nine Queens as an experienced con man caught up in the biggest caper of his career. He was sympathetic as a restaurant owner facing a mid-life crisis in the comedy Son of the Bride, superb as a family head under immense pressure in the drama Kamchatka and magnificent as a quiet taxidermist who gets in over his head in the crime drama The Aura. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Darín started acting at the tender age of 10 and has considerable experience on the stage and in a variety of television shows. He recently appeared in the drama XXY, which screened at Cannes and is currently playing in Argentina, and his next film will be released there on September 13.

The Sign features Darín as Corvalán, a "mediocre" private eye who gets involved in "a story of betrayal and ambitions," according to a synopsis by one of the film's production companies. The setting is 1952 Argentina -- the last days of Eva Perón -- and Corvalán is hired by a femme fatale to do a seemingly run-of-the-mill job. In the course of what should be a routine investigation, Corvalán begins to uncover "a violent plot of vengeance and ambitions." Despite the concerns expressed by his partner Santana, Corvalán keeps digging until his life is in danger. Julieta Díaz (Family Law) plays the mystery woman and Diego Peretti (It's Not You, It's Me) portrays Santana.

Director Eduardo Mignogna wrote the script and was in pre-production last fall when he passed away from cancer. Darín, who had worked with Mignogna previously (The Lighthouse,The Escape) and considered The Sign to be a dream project, felt a moral obligation to finish his friend's work, and so assumed the responsibility of directing as well as acting in the film. That makes it doubly worth seeking out, in my book.
categories Cinematical