Review: ‘Navidad’

Likable young cast does most of the heavy lifting to sustain interest given the script's rambling structure.

Three troubled young people hole up for the holidays in a semi-abandoned house in Chilean helmer Sebastian Lelio’s sophomore outing “Navidad.” Likable young cast does most of the heavy lifting to sustain interest given the script’s rambling structure — it’s no surprise the story grew out of improvisation. Pic will need an early present of very good luck from Santa to make much of an impact beyond the fest circuit.

Young lovers Aurora (upcoming thesp Manuela Martelli, “Machuca”) and Ale (Diego Riz) break into a house in the mountains just above Santiago on Christmas Eve. Aurora’s had a fling recently with woman, and, although she insists it doesn’t really mean anything, she’s distant with Ale. When he sulks and starts to leave, they discover 15-year-old runaway Alicia (Alicia Rodriguez), a diabetic, passed out in the greenhouse.  Once they revive her, they find out that, like both Aurora and Ale, Alicia has some serious issues with her parents. Pic makes a well-intentioned stab at depicting the anomie of today’s metrosexual kids, but even an eventual threesome scene never quite dispels the lassitude that pervades the whole empanada. Tech package is serviceable.

Navidad

Chile-France

Production

A Horamagica (Chile)/Divine Prods. (France) production, in association with Divine Prods., Zoofilms, Cine Sur, Cinefondation, MC Films, Chilean Ministry of Culture and the Arts. (International sales: MC Films Chile, Santiago.) Produced by Ursula Budnik. Executive producers, Budnik, Pablo Mehler, Guillaume Benski. Directed by Sebastian Lelio. Screenplay, Lelio, Gonzalo Maza.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Benjamin Echazarreta; editor, Lelio, Soledad Salfate; art director, Rodrigo Bazaes. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors' Fortnight), May 21, 2009. Spanish dialogue. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Manuela Martelli, Alicia Rodriguez, Diego Ruiz.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading