Unspooling the picture earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, Larrain confessed that, even after making the movie, he wasn’t at all sure he knew who Neruda was. And in a typically counterintuitive gesture, “Neruda” doesn’t pretend to know, either. It keeps the man at a playful distance, firm in its belief that the art will sustain our interest, long after the passing of the artist and his historical moment. It’s possible that Pablo Neruda himself would have concurred with this sentiment, though Oscar Peluchonneau might have begged to differ.
Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Luis Gnecco and Michael Silva. Directed by Pablo Larrain.
Rated R for sexuality/nudity and some language. Check listings for theaters. 1 hour, 47 minutes.
Bottom line: An intoxicating puzzle that will leave the audience questioning who Neruda is