Wild Tales is an omnibus film and I’m typically not a huge fan of those; even the really, really great ones, like iconic British horror film Dead of Night, feature at least one or two stories that I figure should have been left out. So, give kudos to Wild Tales which is now my favorite omnibus film of all time because I wouldn’t cut a single thing out of this movie. The film tells six stories connected only by theme. These are stories of people pushed to the edge, whether it’s a waitress confronted by a man from her past, two men involved in an ever escalating incident of road rage or a wife given unfortunate news at her wedding reception. The film is wonderfully acted by all concerned and every story, even the incredibly brief pre-title card story that opens the film, manages some sort of brutal twist. The film is often bracingly violent and the emotions are raw. The film begins with a sort of black comedy tone, but as the stories get more rooted in the real world, the stories get more disturbing. The next to last story is a thoughtful exploration of guilt and corruption with a genuinely startling and incredibly disturbing ending. The final story is an explosion and something of a summation; it’s grim and unbelievably disturbing and painful, while also managing to be, not just darkly comic, but genuinely darkly hilarious at times. The performances are what you’ll walk away remembering. Dario Grandinetti (of Talk to Her) as a befuddled airplane passenger; Rita Cortese as a pragmatic, surprisingly sociopathic cook; Leonardo Sbaraglia as an arrogant driver trapped in an ugly incident; Oscar Martinez as a wealthy man facing an ethical dilemma; most especially, Erica Rivas, in a gloriously unhinged performance, as the bride in the final story. Wild Tales is about many things: the catharsis of brutal revenge, the boiling volcano of rage lurking beneath the surface of the most banal people, the humiliation of a modern, dehumanizing society. But most of all, it’s just a brilliantly entertaining, in every sense of the word, collection of stories that you’ll never forget. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – darkly comic, bracingly violent and unrelentingly pessimistic omnibus film features a collection of superlative stories of humanity pushed past all limits. 4 stars.