Ossos (1997) reviewed ★★★★

Pedro Costa has constructed a beautifully simple but profound film working with approximately five-to-seven pages of dialogue, if that. The entire piece is carried forward through extremely small details, facial expressions, and sounds which is what, I think, lends itself to a perfect example of mise-en-scène demonstration. Life usually never consists of us finding out things through spoken words, but through actions. All of these factors combined, bring such a realistic experience to the point where you can’t believe these characters are fictionalized. Costa gives life to characters in a rare and unique way that not exactly gives us a relatable stance to them, but rather a sympathetic response due to the realism given on screen by these actors. Ossos takes place within the largest city of Portugal, Lisbon. It centers around the lives of a few youths whose lives together deteriorate as they cannot keep composed the cruel circumstances with which they live in. One of the main characters, Tina, is a suicidal teenaged mother who, seeing nothing but good in the irresponsible father, gives the baby to him in high hopes of the baby’s well-being. However, the father is in no means of changing his life, and the unwise actions he takes with the baby only worsens everybody’s situation. Pedro Costa wrote and directed Ossos with such calm fluidity and pacing that one viewing is simply not enough.

Thank you for reading,

Omar Antonio Iturriaga

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