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Nine Queens


Year: 2001 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Get your head screwed on straight, because Nine Queens is going to lead you down a maze of bluffs, double-bluffs, lies, cons, crosses, double-crosses, triple crosses and quadruple crosses that will make The Usual Suspects look like it was plotted with a ruler.

Juan (Pauls) is trying the $20 switch on a supermarket cashier. He ends up with $39, and she thinks he's done her a favour. Juan is feeling greedy, though, and trys the same thing on her replacement a few minutes later. The first cashier pops up screaming that she was robbed, and helpful Marcos (Darin) flashes a gun, says he's a police officer, and hauls Juan off.

Marcos is not a cop, of course: he another con man. His sister tips them off about a tipsy and - importantly - rich stamp collector staying in the hotel she works at, who is looking to buy the Nine Queens, a fantastically rare and - importantly - valuable set of stamps. Marcos does not own the Nine Queens - but he doesn't plan on letting that stop him making a profit.

The plot is elegant an sophisticated, complicated enough to be intriguing but well-told so that you're never confused. Crucially, the characters are well drawn, from newbie con man Juan to the more experienced Marcos to his sister Valeri a (Bredice), who tries to rise above Marcos and his seamy friends, but who might sleep with somebody to get a slice of the action.

Nine Queens was made from the money won when director Bielinsky won a screenwriting competition. It's telling that Nine Queens manages to be a better film that Hollywood, with its billions to throw around, usually manages. Go see this gem.

Raven Carleton

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Spring Term (35mm)