Movie Reviews by Alice Castle and Neils Hesse
Starring: Graciana Chironi, Liliana Capurro, Ruth Dobel, Federico Esquerro
Director: Pablo Trapero
Review by Alice Castle
FAMILIA RODANTE is a warm and funny Argentinean road movie about a large Buenos Aires family taking a trip to a wedding in the countryside.
Even the closest of families would come to blows if they were holed up in a small and rickety camper-van on an overnight trip into the Argentinean highlands. Aged matriarch Emilia (Graciana Chironi) has been invited to be matron-of-honour at a family wedding in Misiones, a small town 1000 miles north east of the capital. Thinking it might be the last opportunity to see her hometown she accepts, and the rest of her family – two daughters, their husbands, children and new great-grandchild decide to join her on the journey. Son-in-law Oscar (Federico Esquerro) provides the transport, and granddaughter XXXXX provides the drama, having just walked out on her biker boyfriend.
The four generations become closer as tempers flare, and the past is dredged up with old passions igniting. Teenage cousins flirt outrageously with each other, and when the family finally arrive in Misiones with only minutes to spare, the wedding is no disappointment either – no sleep ’til the morning.
Argentinean cinema continues to charm with this jolly family drama.
Review by Neils Hesse
What do you think would happen if a big family ranging from a grandmother in her eighties to a young baby squeezed themselves into an average sized, hand built camper-van and started off on a journey? Well Emilia (Graciana Chironi) is an 84 year-old Argentine woman who decides on her birthday that the whole family must accompany her for a wedding over a 1000 kilometres away so off they go bundled up in their caravan. As the journey progresses the heat intensifies, hidden desires emerge, teenage hearts break and angers flare.
Pablo Trapero writes and directs this unique road trip film with a documentary feel that allows it and its characters to come across very naturally. He somehow manages to draw very realistic performances from his cast. The visuals consist mainly of the Argentinean landscape they travel through and this helps the realism aspect, as the story is about an average family. The main draw to this film is the concept of family and how it includes everybody from the oldest to the very youngest.
Graciana Chironi is perfect in her role as an ageing grandmother who wishes to recapture some memories of her past with her beloved family. She easily captures the ability of her character to command respect from all of the members of her family. The ensemble cast is good but it is Graciana’s central performance that drives the film.
FAMILIA RODANTE is quite an interesting film as it gives you a glimpse into the Argentine attitude towards family in an entertainingly dramatic way.