Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch), the Oscar-nominated debut by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, is a stunning piece of filmmaking from start to finish. But its violence will probably turn many people off, and its nearly three-hour running time occasionally feels punishing. It opens with an exhilarating, panicked car chase that results in a collision that connects the film's three interwoven stories. The first story focuses on a barrio punk named Octavio (Gael García Bernal), who falls hard for his brother's battered teenage bride, Susana (Vanessa Bauche). In order to win her, Octavio enters the family's loyal but savage Rottweiler, Cofi, in the local dogfighting circuit. The second and weakest chapter centers on a fashion model (Goya Toledo) who was injured in the crash, and the final and strongest chapter is about a middle-aged vagrant (Emilio Echevarria) who adopts the injured Cofi. González Iñárritu has a distinctive eye for sensual detail and he mercifully avoids the detached, ironic posturing that characterizes other entries in the Tarantino school of intertwined narrative. The film also shows that actions have consequences, giving it a moral and ideological thrust rarely attained in U.S. cinema.