TIFF 2015 Review: Our Last Tango
German Kral’s Our Last Tango feels like it will play out in a predictable fashion. The director rediscovers tango dancers Juan Carlos Copes and Maria Nieves after a number of years, and asks them to recreate the story of their lives together and how they fell apart. Feels like we have seen this dance before.
But then, Our Last Tango waltzes in a completely unexpected route. This swerve is perhaps most encapsulated in the persona of Nieves. Quite simply put, she’s a fascinating figure. She is a sublime mix of humble and personable, and perhaps due to her dance background, completely above it all.
Her reaction at about the midpoint of the movie is one of the most surprising of almost any film from the festival, when she essentially says “Who the fuck is Copes?”
This scene really delivers on the idea that old wounds do not heal so easily. The enmity between the partners both on and off the dance remains, and burns very deeply. In fact, the film slowplays the reason that Nieves and Copes became disengaged, and it’s devastating.
Kral’s film also pumps up the action in between interviews, restoring footage of the tango with dancers that share a personal connection to Nieves and Copes.
In short, the film is a real gem. Argentina is well-represented at the festival and has plenty about which to dance.