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Review: Carancho

 Argentina's Official Selection as Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards
By GERALD PEARY  |  April 27, 2011
1.5 1.5 Stars

Pablo Trapero's soggy, misguided, derivative melodrama was, somehow, Argentina's Official Selection as Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards. Fortunately, Carancho (Spanish for "vulture") didn't make the final cut. Oscar voters must have seen through the claptrap about an ambulance-chasing lawyer, Sosa (Ricardo Darín), who starts to regret his dishonest life (he also works for a mob called the Foundation) because of his new involvement with ER doctor Luján (Martina Gusman). The many blood-drenched scenes in the hospital are astonishingly unconvincing, like woeful TV, and the lachrymose love story makes no sense: Sosa is an unappealing, self-pitying loser who ends up on the wrong end of a fist every second scene. And should I mention the contrived, totally predictable ending? This story was told far more credibly in The Verdict (1982), which starred Paul Newman and was directed by the late Sidney Lumet.

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