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‘Ema’ Review: Pablo Larraín’s Wild and Bizarre Dance Drama Is One of the Year’s Most Electrifying Movies

‘Ema’ Review: Pablo Larraín’s Wild and Bizarre Dance Drama Is One of the Year’s Most Electrifying Movies

that feels like it was born out of a three-way between “Amélie,” “Oldboy,” and Gaspar Noé before maturing into a force of nature all its own, Pablo Larraín’s “Ema” doesn’t always dance to a clear or recognizable beat, but anybody willing to get on its wavelength will be rewarded with one of the year’s most dynamic and electrifying films. Which isn’t to suggest the movie — Larraín’s first since the one-two punch of “Neruda” and “Jackie” in 2016 — doesn’t grab you from the moment it starts, only that it keeps you on your toes for a little while before you can figure out the steps, and it never lets you take the lead.

Or maybe the film’s initial veil of impenetrability would be more accurately likened to the billowing smoke that obfuscates a burning car wreck. At least the identity of the firestarter is never in doubt.

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