‘Isabella’ Review: Matías Piñeiro’s Take on ‘Measure for Measure’ Suggests He’s Ready to Leave Shakespeare Behind

‘Isabella’ Review: Matías Piñeiro’s Take on ‘Measure for Measure’ Suggests He’s Ready to Leave Shakespeare Behind
For those unfamiliar with Matías Piñeiro’s beguiling series of post-modern Shakespeare riffs, “Isabella” probably isn’t the best place to start. Another sensual and freeform meditation on the subjectivity of the Bard’s women and the actresses who play them, the Argentinian filmmaker’s latest isn’t any more abstract than its predecessors “Viola,” “Hermia & Helena,” and “The Princess of France” (though it certainly isn’t any more accessible), but its inviting lushness and color are offset by a sense of finality, as if Piñeiro is reaching the end of a decade-long infatuation and looking for the strength to pull the ripcord.

His movies stubbornly resist the word “about” in all but the most abstract meaning of the word, but “Isabella” all but announces itself as a tale of uncertainty; an interest that it borrows from the Shakespearean “comedy” that possesses Piñeiro’s contemporary Argentinian women like a wandering spirit.
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