Valentin (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by Almiro Jorge

Starring: Julieta Cardinali, Carmen Maura, Jean Pierre Noher, Mex Urtizberea, Rodrigo Noya

Director: Alejandro Agresti

In a stylistic film, Agresti tells a tender semi-autobiography combined with a delicate account of historical happenings, combining humour, nostalgia, compassion and domestic drama.

VALENTÍN is a simple coming of age story, which is being told by a gifted nine year-old boy who lives with his grandmother in Argentina. The cross-eyed youngster is a cupid (thus Valentin) in search of a mother for whom he sets high standards and dreams only of becoming an astronaut. His mother has become a stranger to him since a turbulent separation from his father (played by Agretsi). Valentin (Rodrigo Noya) befriends Rufo (Mex Urtizberea), a pianist who encourages his ever-growing imagination.

Finally, the child meets one of his father’s girlfriends, Leticia (the awesome Julieta Cardinali). Valentin is completely enchanted by the stunning and fascinating Leticia and they build a lovely relationship, but it is short-lived for the time being as she is Jewish (Valentin’s family being Anti-Semitic). She seems to fill the frames with radiance as she portrays angelic qualities. Agresti carefully constructs the beautiful connection between the boy and Leticia into the film’s most inspiring moment.

The episodically crafted film shows you in stages how the young Valentin has matured and realised that the world of adults is not as he imagined it. It poses questions that puzzle children in that stage of their life. With very delightful photography and a great script, Agresti fills the screen with emotion and quirky humour.

VALENTIN is simply one of the better feel-good movies that I have watched in years. This nine year-old will steal many hearts with his great performance!

5 out of 6 stars