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Time Out says
Pitched as a family film, this light, winning comedy, set in the working class district of Madrid's Carabanchel Alto, traces the life of chubby, bespectacled primary school kid Manolo in the days before and during the summer holidays. Much of the gentle pathos and humour comes from the fact that events are viewed from the boy's quirky perspective - be they his travails with his kid brother ('the beast'), hanging with his gang of schoolmates, his spats with his time- and money-juggling mother, his phlegmatic grandpa or his all-too-often-absent but loving lorry-driver father. Part celebration of working class culture, part quirky comedy, part road movie, the able central performances and the film's evident affection, gentle charm and self-confidence make up for the occasional stray into sentimentality - not to mention the jolly/fairground umpa-pa-pa brass band score.