De jueves a domingo (Thursday Till Sunday) (2012)
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10 year old Lucia (Santi Ahumada) and her younger brother Manuel (Emiliano Freifeld) watch quietly as their parents' marriage crumbles during a vacation to locate a secluded parcel of land once purchased by their grandfather. Though father Fernando (Francisco Perez-Bannen) and mother Ana (Paola Giannini) try hard to shield the children from the bitter truth of the situation, tensions run high as the clan has a chance encounter with Juan (Jorge Becker) -- a handsome single father with obvious eyes for Ana. … More
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Critic Reviews for De jueves a domingo (Thursday Till Sunday)
[It] feels as long as its name, with long, mostly silent stretches devoted to staring out the window at the stark, scrubby scenery.
Sotomayor's vivid compositions establish environments and spaces tellingly, hinting at the family's history and current state through minor details and gestures, suggesting the bigger picture without ever explaining it.
The takes are long, static and not always rewarding, but Santi Ahumada's performance as Lucía has the qualities we used to associate with Italian neo-realism.
Sotomayor's movie is more than the sum of its carefully accumulated details.
It's prone to burying its sharper observations under drift, but the performers, working almost in teams, are convincing, and Sotomayor elicits consistently charming responses from Ahumada in particular: bored, wistful, alert to the trouble ahead.
While the dramatic content is taxingly minimal, the cinematography by Bárbara Álvarez (The Headless Woman) is full of emotional clues.
Is the film about innocence? Paradise gained or lost? It is certainly about the nuances at play in a family bottled together, like lighting ...
Impressively directed and superbly written, this is an emotionally engaging road-movie/coming-of-age-drama with stunning camerawork and a terrific central performance from young Santi Ahumada.
What distinguishes Castillo's film is the facility and accuracy with which she understands, remembers and recreates the fish-bowl vistas and claustrophobic intimacy of a long car-bound journey.
Sotomayor has crafted a compelling mix of road movie and coming-of-age story, using subtle tricks to involve the audience in the complexities and ambiguities of both marriage and childhood.
The images of North Chile's lunar landscapes sing - if you can stand the mercilessly long takes.
The naturalistic acting is uniformly good, but Ahumada is most memorable. Fresh-faced, wise, and sensitive, she is the antithesis of the manufactured precocious adolescent in Hollywood films.
Says and conveys more substance with a seemingly casual glance than most action-packed vehicles.
The painstakingly over-methodical approach gives this the feel of a first-time director trying a little too hard, or perhaps not hard enough.
Audience Reviews for De jueves a domingo (Thursday Till Sunday)
Ana (Giannini) and Papa (Perez-Bannen) wake their two young kids, Lucia (Ahumada) and Manuel (Freifeld), early one Thursday morning and set off from their home in Santiago, Chile. So begins a long weekend trip to the north of the country. At first thrilled with the idea of a family excursion, ten-year-old Lucia slowly begins to realize all may not be well with her parents' relationship as the struggling couple attempt to put on a brave face for their children's benefit.
The idea of viewing adult issues from a child's eyes is rarely handled well by film-makers. Usually the child character becomes a vessel for the creator's agenda, often through a crude narrative voice-over, resulting in an unrealistically insightful child. Last year we had two horrific examples of this trend in 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' and 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'. In the past week alone, however, I've seen three examples of how it should be handled. The stunning 'Mud', which I'm temporarily forbidden to review until its May 1st embargo expires, uses a Mark Twain style approach while the otherwise irritating 'Post Tenebras Lux' employs magic realist imagery to convey the confusion of how an infant absorbs the world around them. 'Thursday Till Sunday' is easily the most naturalistic of the three, but it's also the most tedious.
Sotomayor's debut employs the 'Tom & Jerry' technique of Spielberg's 'E.T' to convey the perspective of young Lucia. The use of dialogue is fractured, teasing us with snippets of half-heard conversations. While it does suggest the frustration of an inquisitive child's thirst for information, it ultimately becomes equally frustrating for the viewer. Sotomayor literally straps us into the back seat for much of the movie, giving us practically nothing in the way of story or character. It's left to young Ahumada to carry the film, which she does well, but it's too large a burden for a child to carry. After an hour on this journey you'll find yourself subconsciously asking "Are we there yet?"
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