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Isabella (NYFF 2020); Grade: C-

Strictly Films welcomes you back to more coverage of this years New York Film Festival! Our next film on the block: Isabella

Isabella tells a story about a woman named Mariel (Maria Villar) whom is going for a role in a Shakespeare adaption of Measure for Measure. Mariel really wants to land this role, as she's constantly involved in rehearsing this part, as she sets up the sets for it. However Mariel practices with talented actress Luciana (Agustina Munoz), as Mariel comes to realize she's going for the same part as well.

On paper Isabella sounds like a nice drama piece, however as I watch it, it felt heavily closer to an arthouse style kind of film. The film really isn't doing exactly much story telling wise, as we are shown sequences of rectangles expressing different colors, as the colors represents a certain mood/feeling like a mood ring. The film also has this deer connection to the color purple as well, as it explains the moral meaning behind the color in the opening.

As one whom really enjoys arthouse films... I honestly didn't care much for Isabella. The strongest part of the film is the way the film is shot, it's a gorgeous looking film with a great sense of a wonderful color pallet. But the way this story is being told, just left me point blank throughout the run time. It's a story in which like I said earlier barely is saying much, as sometimes scenes are reoccurring over and over again. For me I felt I was inside of Mariel's mind, as the quick cut scenes from location to location made me felt like this what Mariel is going through her own process. It's like Mariel is trying to figure out the best way possible to land this part, while also feeling the motions through this part of her life.

Other than that it just left me fairly bored, as it didn't quite connect with me at all. Certainly not a bad film by any means, but just something particularly not my cup of tea.

Overall, Isabella was just alright. I don't recommend this film, not really worth the watch. -Mitch Smietana

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