On Oct. 5, 1988, after 15 hard years under a dictatorship, the Chilean public voted No as in, Enough already in a historic national plebiscite that removed Gen. Augusto Pinochet from power. Pablo Larraín's superb, Oscar-nominated, fact-based drama, No, explores the power of popular dissent, and the coordinated persuasions of media, marketing, and targeted advertising in shaping the word no to invigorate a populace pessimistically conditioned to think that nothing will ever change for the good.
Gael García Bernal is typically soulful as a (fictional) adman more politically engaged than Mad Men's Don Draper who devises the effective and unexpectedly upbeat campaign, even while his agency boss (Alfredo Castro) works for Team Yes. One other nice Mad Men touch: The movie the third in a trilogy of powerful political dramas from Larraín, including Tony Manero and Post Mortem uses period detail, archival footage, and '80s-era technology to create an excellently authentic, bleached, crummy-looking document of a great democratic accomplishment. A