Critic’s pick: Oscar-nominated ‘Wild Tales’ conjures revenge fantasies

Érica Rivas and Diego Gentile in ‘Wild Tales’
Érica Rivas and Diego Gentile star in one of six revenge fantasies in Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales.” The movie from Argentina was nominated for a foreign-language film Oscar.
(Sony Pictures Classics)

Indulging in a vicarious experience is one of the central pleasures of movies, and “Wild Tales” provides more than its share. Writer-director Damian Szifron conjures up six revenge fantasies in the tragicomical extravaganza from Argentina that earned a foreign-language Oscar nomination this year. The winner was “Ida,” a somber nun’s tale from Poland and very different from Szifron’s light touch with dark forces. He’s picked out varying degrees of betrayal to anchor each of the vignettes, starting with a road rage scenario that somehow manages to be hysterical, horrific and highly relatable. After a brief Oscar-qualifying run last year, it is back in town for a short stay. So should you feel the need to settle old scores, consider the zany contemplation of revenge in “Wild Tales” instead.

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