There’s a great reason why NO is the first film from Chile nominated for an Oscar: it’s knock-out film with a local basis but a universal subject. “Weirdly funny and rousing, both intellectually and emotionally, NO revisits the remarkable moment when Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte was forced out by the No campaign, a center-left coalition that packaged resistance into commercials featuring jingles, a rainbow graphic and wide smiles, the nightmare legacy of the coup d’état vanquished by a brilliant coup de théâtre. In October 1988, a constitutionally required national referendum was held in Chile to determine if Pinochet would remain in power another eight years. Voters who supported the regime voted yes; those who didn’t voted no. The no’s captured 55 percent of the vote, and Pinochet was ousted, although he remained president until free elections were held the next year and commander of the armed forces until 1998. Mr. Larraín’s movie revisits how the No campaign was conceptualized and produced. Gael García Bernal, in a deft, subtly moving performance, plays Rene Saavedra, a skateboard-riding advertising hotshot who signs onto the No campaign, to the displeasure of his conservative boss’—Manohla Dargis, N.Y. Times. In Spanish with English subtitles. R. 117 Min.
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