The Headless Woman (2008 film)
|The Headless Woman|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lucrecia Martel|
|Written by||Lucrecia Martel|
|Edited by||Miguel Schverdfinger|
|Distributed by||Strand Releasing|
|Box office||$100,177 (Argentina)|
The Headless Woman (Spanish: La mujer sin cabeza / La mujer rubia) is a 2008 Argentine psychological thriller art film written and directed by Lucrecia Martel and starring María Onetto. The plot revolves around Vero (short for Verónica) (Onetto), who hits something while driving on a deserted road near Salta. Not being sure if she has hit a person or an animal, she drives off, and becomes increasingly mentally disturbed.
The film premiered in competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2008. It opened nationwide on August 21, 2008, after being screened at the Locarno International Film Festival earlier that month. While The Headless Woman was mostly lauded by critics for its cinematography and social commentary, with some comparing Martel to Alfred Hitchcock and Michelangelo Antonioni, others were critical towards the film's slow pace and lack of clear narrative.
On a road outside a city in the far north of Argentina, some poor boys and a dog are playing. Driving along the road, a middle-aged dentist called Verónica hits something and goes into shock. Instead of going back, she gets herself to a hospital for an x-ray and then spends the night in room 818 of a hotel. Going home next day, physically and mentally traumatised by her experience, she is unable to communicate what has happened. In time she manages to tell her husband who, after driving her to the scene of the accident, decides it must have been a dog she hit. Gradually she gets back to normal, her car is repaired and she feels able to work again and join in family activities.
Then, driving along the same stretch of road, she sees a rescue crew trying to recover something which smells terrible from the ditch. Later, the newspapers report that it was the corpse of a boy. When Verónica, who has dyed her hair and now drives the family's other car, goes to the hospital to ask for her radiology file, she is told they have no record of her. Going to the hotel, she asks who was in room 818 on the night of the accident and the receptionist assures her it was empty. Nothing links her to the death.
- María Onetto as Verónica
- Claudia Cantero as Josefina
- César Bordón as Marcos
- Daniel Genoud as Juan Manuel
- Guillermo Arengo as Marcelo
- Inés Efron as Candita
- Alicia Muxo
- Pía Uribelarrea
- María Vaner as Tía Lala
- Sebastián Montagna
The Headless Woman garnered mostly positive reviews from film critics. On review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an overall 72% "Fresh" approval rating based on 47 reviews, with a rating average of 6.9 out of 10. The site's consensus is: "Careful and slight, Lucretia Martel's Headless Woman doesn't fit neatly into a clear storyline, but supports itself with ethereal visuals." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 0–100 reviews from film critics, the film has a rating score of 82 based on 12 reviews, classified as a universally acclaimed film.
|Award||Date of ceremony[I]||Category||Recipients and nominees||Outcome|
|ACE Awards||April 17, 2010||Best Director||Lucrecia Martel||Won|
|Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences Awards||December 15, 2008||Best Actress||María Onetto||Nominated|
|Best Art Direction||María Eugenia Sueiro||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Bárbara Álvarez||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Julio Suárez||Nominated|
|Best Director||Lucrecia Martel||Won|
|Best Editing||Miguel Schverdfinger||Nominated|
|Best Film||The Headless Woman||Won|
|Best Screenplay, Original||Lucrecia Martel||Won|
|Best Sound||Guido Berenblum||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Claudia Cantero
|Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards||August 10, 2009||Best Actress||María Onetto||Won|
|Best Director||Lucrecia Martel||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||María Vaner||Nominated|
|Cannes Film Festival||May 25, 2008||Palme d'Or||Lucrecia Martel||Nominated|
|Lima Latin American Film Festival||August 15, 2008||Critics Award||The Headless Woman||Won|
|Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival||October 9, 2008||FIPRESCI Award||Lucrecia Martel||Won|
|VFCC Awards||January 11, 2010||Best Foreign Language Film||The Headless Woman||Won|
^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the awards held that year.
- "The Headless Woman (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Gilbey, Ryan (February 18, 2010). "The Headless Woman (12A)". New Statesman. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Turner, Matthew (February 19, 2010). "The Headless Woman (12A)". ViewLondon. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Clifford, Laura (April 14, 2010). "The Headless Woman (La mujer sin cabeza)". Reeling Reviews. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Festival Website
- Keogh, Tom (October 22, 2009). "'Headless Woman' drives through life in a fog". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- G. Allen Johnson (September 18, 2009). "Review: 'The Headless Woman'". SFGate. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Levy, Emanuel (August 18, 2009). "Headless Woman, The". EmanuelLevy.Com. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Morris, Wesley (April 29, 2009). "'The Headless Woman' movie review". The Boston Guide. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Hunter, Allan (February 19, 2010). "The Headless Woman review and trailer". Daily Express. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Maher, Kevin (February 19, 2010). "The Headless Woman". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Holden, Stephen (August 18, 2009). "An Argentine Film by Lucrecia Martel Shows the Convenience of Forgetting". The New York Times.
- "La Mujer sin Cabeza (The Headless Woman) (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "The Headless Woman". Metacritic. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "Lucrecia Martel es la mejor directora de cine de 2009". Diario Uno. January 1, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "PREMIO SUR - 2008 - Ganadores" (in Spanish). Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences Awards. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "PREMIO SUR - 2008 - Nominaciones" (in Spanish). Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "Official Selection 2008 : In Competition". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "Reina del Festival. Leonera, del argentino Pablo Trapero, triunfó en fiesta del cine". La República. August 17, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2011.