You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


An attractive cast suggests pickup potential in sophisticated territories.

With: Patricio Ochoa, Francisca Benedetti, Sofia Garcia, Diego Munoz.

With “Weekend,” Joaquin Mora joins the growing list of young, independent-minded Chilean filmmakers eagerly embracing the benefits of low-budget video production and loose semi-narratives, their work exuding a sense of openness and a carefree, apolitical attitude that’s certainly not their parents’ cinema. What begins as a friendly road trip down the Pacific coast turns into a potential menage a trois that resists classification as drama, comedy or dramedy. Though no artistic breakthrough, the pic deserves fest attention, and an attractive cast suggests pickup potential in sophisticated territories.

Santiago-based freelance chef Pato (Patricio Ochoa) preps a dinner for gal pal Francisca (Francisca Benedetti) as a way of helping her through her break-up with crusty b.f. Gaspar (local star Diego Munoz). Mora and cinematographer Claudio Labrin capture the characters in tight, roving closeups that strongly mimic John Cassavetes’ physically intimate style, building to a fiery confrontation with Gaspar, who brands Pato a “parasite,” wrongly figuring the chef has stolen Francisca away.

Pato and Francisca escape from the city Sturm und Drang to Francisca’s parents’ relaxing beach home at a popular Los Vilos beach resort. But before they arrive, they impulsively pick up hitcher Sofia (Sofia Garcia), who curiously says she’s planning to go to the Chilean north, even though Pato and Francisca are southbound.

Younger, more verbal and more energetic than cool, laid-back Francisca, Sofia soon presents Pato with the enviable situation of being the only guy around two fairly hot women during a long beachside weekend. He’s able to further pour on the charm with his considerable skills in the kitchen (which Ochoa demonstrates quite convincingly), but marijuana-induced conversation leads to some unbecoming confessions on his part.

Sofia isn’t put off by this, and soon has her way with him in bed — which he obviously enjoys. The focus of “Weekend” becomes clear gradually, as it observes in relaxed fashion how young people veer between attraction and independence, sending confusing signals that lead to genuinely hurt feelings. The film’s surprising effect is to elicit those feelings from the audience.

Besides a scattershot shooting style and some choppy editing, the film’s primary flaw is its ending, shown in a flat, unaffecting montage.

Ochoa soft-pedals his good-natured character, whose drawbacks are revealed gradually, while Benedetti and Garcia veer between poker-faced calm and emotional outbursts. Munoz makes a brief but potent impression.

Popular on Variety



Production: A Cine Banco Estado and Olguin presentation. Executive producers, Patricio Ochoa, Joaquin Mora. Directed by Joaquin Mora. Screenplay, Mora, Macarena Dominguez.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Claudio Labrin; editors, Felipe Gonzalez, Gonzalo Pavez; music, Julian Pena; production designer, Daniela Fabres; costume designer, Fabres; sound (stereo), Isaac Moreno; re-recording mixer, Cristian Mascaro. Reviewed at Palm Springs Film Festival (World Cinema Now), Jan. 9, 2010. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Patricio Ochoa, Francisca Benedetti, Sofia Garcia, Diego Munoz.

More Film

  • 'No Safe Spaces' Review: A Doc

    Film Review: 'No Safe Spaces'

    If, like me, you’re an absolutist about the right to free speech, not just the legal letter of it but the stubborn spirit of it (as in: bring on the people I hate the most and let them speak, speak, speak until they’re blue in the face), then when you watch “No Safe Spaces,” a [...]

  • Frozen 2

    ‘Frozen 2’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Animation claims the top spot in spending with “Frozen 2.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $6.29 million through Sunday for 1,157 national ad airings on [...]

  • The Farewell Movie

    'The Farewell's' China Release Delayed

    The long-anticipated release of Awkwafina’s drama “The Farewell” in mainland China has been delayed. The hold-up came just two days before the film’s scheduled outing this Friday. The film, about a Chinese American family who are hiding their aging matriarch’s cancer diagnosis from her, was scheduled to be released in China some four months after [...]

  • Adam Driver poses for photographers upon

    Film News Roundup: Adam Driver Honored With SFFILM Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Adam Driver is honored, Robocop will be reborn and Hola Mexico Film Festival and The Montalbán Theatre are teaming for a screening series for potential Oscar nominees. HONORS SFFILM has selected Adam Driver as the recipient of the SFFILM award for acting, formerly the Peter J. Owens Award. Driver, who [...]

  • Paul Downs Colaizzo

    'Perfect Nanny' Movie Adaptation Taps 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' Director (EXCLUSIVE)

    Leila Slimani’s critically acclaimed, international bestseller “The Perfect Nanny” — aka “Chanson Douce” — is coming to the big screen. Legendary has closed a deal for Paul Downs Colaizzo to adapt and direct the English-language adaptation. Legendary will produce the pic alongside Pascal Caucheteux of Why Not Productions and Philippe Godeau of Pan-Européenne. The story [...]

  • Sterling K. BrownVariety and Women in

    Sterling K. Brown to Narrate Disney Plus Documentary 'One Day at Disney' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sterling K. Brown is set to lend his voice to the upcoming Disney Plus feature documentary “One Day at Disney,” Variety has learned exclusively. “One Day at Disney” will highlight the people who work on some of Disney’s most beloved stories. The film will highlight 10 specific people and their role at Disney through the lens [...]

  • Mehrdad Oskouei on IDFA Opener ‘Sunless

    Mehrdad Oskouei on IDFA Opener ‘Sunless Shadows’: 'Giving a Voice to Voiceless People'

    Documentary film festival IDFA opened Wednesday with Iranian director Mehrdad Oskouei’s “Sunless Shadows,” the latest in a series of films about incarcerated teens in his homeland. Developed with help from the IDFA Bertha Fund, the film takes viewers inside an Iranian juvenile detention center, where a group of underage girls are serving time for very [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content