Rolling Family

Film
TRAILER TRASHED The family's ride breaks down.
TRAILER TRASHED The family’s ride breaks down.

Time Out says

On her 84th birthday, Emilia (Chironi) receives a phone call: She’s been invited to her niece’s wedding, and the octogenarian decides that her entire clan must accompany her from Buenos Aires to Brazil for the ceremony. So her grown children and grandchildren pile into a motor home, a breezy Argentine folk song plays on the soundtrack, and viewers brace themselves for a subtitled Little Miss Sunshine, complete with life lessons around every off-ramp corner.

Except the expected epiphanies about the need for family et al. never really happen, and what Pablo Trapero’s road movie offers instead is something far more poetic on the notion of roots and memories. The director’s past works (1999’s Crane World, 2002’s El Bonaerense) have tended toward the brutal and the gritty. Yet there’s a lightness of touch here—along with a skill for composing group shots in which the characters form a real collective unit—that complements the story’s humanity; Renoir would be proud to call the filmmaker an heir. Sure, fistfights occur, clandestine kisses are exchanged, and secrets are brought to light, but these incidents are mere pit stops rather than sentimentality fodder or shtick. It all builds to where Rolling Family finally hits the brakes, in a cryptic close-up whose silence is simply beyond eloquent. (Opens Fri; Cinema Village.) — David Fear

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