A tour de force, this film is shot in a single take, as Victoria, played by Laia Costa, a runaway party girl, is asked by three friendly men to join them as they hit the town. Their wild night of partying turns into a bank robbery. If it sounds far-fetched, not least why Victoria doesn’t just walk away from these coke-fuelled thugs before she gets in too deep, it is. But, as it muses on the nature of fate and those irrational split-second moments that can change your life forever, it’s almost impossible, rather like Victoria, to not get swept up by the intensity of the situation.
Around the halfway mark, the film takes a sudden and shocking turn that feels like the drunken imagining you have of how a night might spiral out of control as your taxi takes you safely home. For Victoria and her new friends, though, the rabbit hole is real and the film goes hurtling down it with the assurance to make the transition without stuttering, sliding into a new genre entirely with complete confidence.
Credit is due to all the actors for their deft work, but particularly the leads, improvising from a skeleton script. One can only imagine the quicksilver reactions needed to maintain performances, including an impressive piano recital by Costa at one point, across two-and-a-quarter hours. But what is really remarkable is how, in the final scenes, you’ll forget this is a one-take wonder as the characters and story takes hold. Brilliantly engineered, coolly executed, Victoria is a triumph.
The film has won numerous awards, including a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, for the camera work. Click below for reviews and more information.
Venue: William Loveless Hall