Film Review: ‘Sugar Kisses’

The purity of a boy’s puppy love acts as a shield against the harsh reality of plebeian Mexico City in “Sugar Kisses,” the sophomore directorial feature of Carlos Cuaron (who co-penned the Oscar-nommed screenplay of “Y tu mama tambien,” directed by his brother Alfonso). Cute kidpic-with-a-message is well executed technically but predictable, plot-wise, though an appealing lead perf from tyke Cesar Kancino keeps things watchable throughout. Local biz should be decent, and auds at younger-skewing fests in particular will want to embrace it.

Wide-eyed and naive, if more than occasionally mischievous, 13-year-old Nacho (Kancino) is in love with pretty Mayra (Daniela Arce), which would be fine if she weren’t the daughter of Diabla (a devilishly dressed Veronica Falcon), a corrupted piece of work who controls the market stalls where Nacho’s iniquitous stepdad (Enrique Arreola) makes a living. Contrasting childlike infatuation with a world full of violence, vice and dishonesty is neither new nor subtle, though as in Cuaron’s helming debut, “Rudo y Cursi,” it’s not the story’s originality but the likability of the protags that wins out.

Sugar Kisses
Besos de azucar

Popular on Variety

Reviewed at Guadalajara Film Festival (competing), March 2, 2013. Running time: 86 MIN.

A Besos Cosmicos production. Produced by Carlos Cuaron, Alex Garcia. Executive producers, Santiago Garcia Galvan, Alejandra Guevara.

Directed by Carlos Cuaron. Screenplay, Cuaron, Luis Usabiaga. Camera (color, HD), Kenji Katori; editor, Mariana Rodriguez; music, Pablo Lach, Felipe Perez Santiago; production designer, Alejandro Garcia; costume designer, Atzin Hernandez; sound (Dolby Digital), Isabel Munoz; casting, Viridiana Olvera.

With: Cesar Kancino, Daniela Arce, Kristyan Ferrer, Veronica Falcon, Yolanda Martinez, Paloma Arredondo, Enrique Arreola, Hector Jimenez.

Film Review: 'Sugar Kisses'

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