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‘Eureka’ Review: Viggo Mortensen Invites Us Into Lisandro Alonso’s Shape-Shifting Puzzle Picture, Then Leaves Us To Find Our Way

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Guy Lodge Film Critic By the brazenly esoteric standards of Argentine director Lisandro Alonso, his last feature “Jauja” was virtually a concession to the mainstream.

A lushly shot 19th-century historical drama led by Viggo Mortensen, it was — until a typically disorienting coda — close to linear in its colonialist-quest narrative, even as it moved in slow, ever-widening circles, and duly became Alonso’s most widely released film to date.

Nine years later (the longest gap yet in a career taken at his own pace), Alonso’s follow-up “Eureka” playfully appears to mock whatever tentative gestures “Jauja” made toward accessibility: A glisteningly opaque meditation on Indigenous living that refracts viewers’ interpretations as it repeatedly switches gear, focus, locus and story, it’s a film built to frustrate those who don’t succumb to its oneiric spell, not that it especially imparts its secrets to those who do.

Eagerly awaited by Alonso’s patient faithful, “Eureka” was widely expected to mark the director’s debut in Competition at Cannes, only to bow instead in the festival’s auteur-heavy but non-competitive Cannes Premiere section.

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