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Nine Queens

Writer-director Fabián Bielinsky's Nine Queens has been compared to the work of both Hitchcock and David Mamet. The film tells the tale of two Argentine con men who take their small-time skills and try to hit it big. Juan (Gastón Pauls) and Marcos (Ricardo Darín) meet by chance in a Buenos Aires bodega, where Juan is caught trying to scam an employee. Posing as an undercover cop Marcos rescues Juan from the store owner, and the two compare notes. It is not long before they team up for a con to sell a phony sheet of stamps (the nine queens in the title) on a tight schedule. (They have only one day to unload the stamps.) Bielinsky's characters are light on morals, and with everyone trying to con everyone else, the players switch from rube to swindler, and back again, in a matter of seconds. See "Opening Friday" for theaters.

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