Las Acacias

"Excellent"

Las Acacias Review


Artful and engaging, but also extremely slow, this Argentine road movie centres on an intriguing relationship between two strangers. It's finely shot and edited, and extremely well-observed, but its low-key style will probably only engage adventurous filmgoers.

Ruben (de Silva) is driving a load of acacia wood from Paraguay to Buenos Aires, and he has been asked by a friend to give a lift to Jacinta (Duarte).

What he doesn't expect is that Jacinta has her 5-month-old daughter Anahi (Mamani) with her. Without a clue what to say, they set off in silence. But Ruben begins to bond with Anahi, who's impossibly cute and curious, except when she's screaming. And Jacinta is so friendly that she can't help but crack Ruben's tough shell.

The film's first half is virtually wordless, as Ruben and Jacinta cross the border into Argentina, take a few rest stops and run a couple of errands. Their initial interaction is limited to brief glances that reveal a growing curiosity about each other. But then, over such a long drive, there's nothing else to do but talk. Their dialog starts out sleepy and halting before they start to relax in each others' presence. You couldn't really call this bonding, but they're definitely warming to each other. And by the end we vividly feel the tentative connection between them.

The performances are terrific. De Silva has a superbly rough exterior but betrays an inner softness in the way he interacts with Anahi. Watching him slowly open up is wonderful. Jacinta is more interested in interacting from the start, but bides her time and tries to remain silent even though she clearly has something to say. Meanwhile, Mamani is one of the most expressive infants in film history: she completely wins us over, just as she does Ruben.

Filmmaker Giorgelli observes the tiniest details of their interaction with subtle skill. This is a film about the irresistible need to connect with other people, even when we don't really want to. Ruben is happiest when he's alone in his truck, so watching him struggle to cope with these invaders is hilariously prickly and also startlingly sweet. And as they continue along the road, the effect they have on each other is a small miracle.



Las Acacias

Facts and Figures

Run time: 82 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th October 2011

Distributed by: Independent Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Pablo Giorgelli

Producer: Pablo Giorgelli, Ariel Rotter, Alex Zito

Starring: Germán de Silva as Rubén, Hebe Duarte as Jacinta, Nayra Calle Mamani as Anahí, Monica Coca as Shop assistant

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.