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2013
Simultaneously madcap and somber, director Pablo Larraín’s dramatization of the last days of dictator Augusto Pinochet’s government in Chile, circa 1988, mixes in Mad Men-like media-savvy laughs with the grim specter of that country’s police-state mentality. Chile is about to hold a plebiscite on whether or not to keep the Pinochet regime in power, and a Santiago advertising executive (Gael García Bernal) gets the job of creating the “No” campaign. Funny TV commercials and late-night harassment of “No” proponents by cops and soldiers ensue. Filmmaker Larraín and his screenplay (written by Pedro Peirano, adapting a play by Antonio Skármeta) manages to walk the tricky tightrope, just as the Chilean people did, with winning style. (110 min.)


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