Nora's Will is a Mexican film that won an astounding seven Ariels, the Mexican Oscar, in 2010. Directed and written by Mariana Chenillo, the film is slow, simple, and has a plot that's delicately and beautifully wrapped around a secret—a family secret, the only kind of secret that really matters. Daddy secretly loved his daughter's best friend, mom always wanted to run away to Morocco with the grocer, our son secretly loved to kill little birds before masturbating, our daughter preferred a vibrator in her ass. Indeed, a vibrator does appear in Nora's Will. A woman who committed suicide owned it. Her granddaughters, who found it while going through her things, wonder what it is. They conclude it is a flashlight. But, in truth, it is one of the many family secrets in this film.
The grandmother's corpse is on the floor beside the bed. She is covered by a white sheet. A tub of ice is on her chest. Her face has been made up by her maid. The dead woman is Jewish; the maid is Christian. The dead woman's ex-husband, Jose (Fernando Luján), has his own secrets and suspects his dead ex-wife has secrets that she hid from him. What did she not want him to know? What does his cousin know that he does not know? Does his son know everything about this mother? Will the movie ever get to the bottom of this corpse? The art direction and wardrobe in Nora's Will are also superb. SIFF Cinema at the Film Center, Sept 16–22.