José (Fernando Luján) has been divorced from Nora for 20 years. They were married at least as long. Now he keeps an apartment across from hers; she keeps binoculars. And when, just before Passover, she succeeds after decades of suicide attempts, José is convinced she planned for him to discover her body—and the full Seder meal prepared in carefully labeled Tupperware. Nora's Will takes place almost entirely in the dun apartment that José and Nora once shared, where seemingly not a stick of furniture has been bought since he left. No teeth are gnashed or breasts beaten during the mourning period. Rabbi, family, and servants come and go around José, who is ironic rather than visibly bereaved, a lapsed Jew who wolfs ham pizza in front of his abstaining co-religionists. Logistical problems, such as finding a Hebrew cemetery in Mexico City that will accept the body of a suicide, worry away José's stoicism—along with inchoate feelings stirred up by a stray photograph from 1969, suggesting another lover in the dead woman's life, as in a de Maupassant story. Throughout, writer/director Mariana Chenillo and Luján carefully unwrap José's defensive postures to reveal a hard center of unresolved emotion, finally shown.
Jose (Lujan) reverses the view from a fateful window.
Runs at SIFF Film Center, Fri., Sept. 16--Thurs., Sept. 22. Not rated. 92 minutes.