Ignacio Ferreras’s traditionally animated Wrinkles is a beautiful, subtle horror movie about the rigors of old age, made all the more horrifying because it will happen to all of us fortunate enough to live a long life.
It’s been tastefully dubbed from Spanish into English, with all the original signage and typography remaining in Spanish, appropriate enough for such a universal story.
Retired bank manager Emilio (Martin Sheen), in denial about the onset of Alzheimer’s, is reluctantly placed into an assisted living facility by his exasperated son, Juan (Matthew Modine).
In classic prison-movie style, Emilio’s roommate, Miguel (George Coe, getting all the dignity and agency denied his character on Archer), shows Emilio the ropes of this particular cuckoo’s nest; Miguel also takes great pleasure in swindling the other, less cognizant residents, much to Emilio’s disapproval.
The animation is very simple, but this tale wouldn’t be well-served by flashiness, and the same material rendered in CGI likely couldn’t have the same emotional impact. We see the story mostly from Emilio’s point of view, though Ferreras’s hand-drawn animation frequently takes us into the memories and hallucinations of Emilio and other patients.
It’s in those moments that Wrinkles becomes truly gorgeous and heartbreaking, and a reminder that getting old will probably happen to you, too.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 2, 2014