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Viggo Mortensen (right) in 'Jauja' (Cinema Guild)

Viilbjørk Mallin Agger and Viggo Mortensen in ‘Jauja’ (Cinema Guild)

Jauja, a ghostly pseudo-Western set in the wilds of late-nineteenth century Argentina and starrting Viggo Mortensen, is opening this week in limited release. My review is at Film Journal International:

Given a précis of what Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja is ostensibly about, some might imagine they’re in for a South American updating of The Searchers. But even John Ford—who would have been happy to have a stolid leading man like Viggo Mortensen in his company—at his pokiest was never this unconcerned with story. Alonso is happy to let his scenes spool out at their own unhurried pace, captured in the old-fashioned boxy Academy framing. This can lead to some gorgeously observed tableaus but also stretches of dry tedium, hemmed in by a layered and mannered aesthetic…

Here’s the trailer:

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