Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (10)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (6)
Ávila can't quite thread the needle between telling his personal story and connecting it to larger social currents.
'Clandestine Childhood'' is the impressive first feature by Argentine director Benjamín Avila.
When a filmmaker proves as reluctant as Mr. Ávila to speak up about the past, to engage with its full complexity, it can be hard to hear what he's saying.
The calmer scenes are staged in staid and somewhat clunky fashion, but the graphic animation depicting the worst moments is starkly effective.
Outré flourishes don't fully lift the story past the limitations of innocence-lost storytelling.
A charming, involving first feature, Clandestine Childhood muscles its familiar coming-of-age material into something more vibrant and urgent than the usual.
A solemn reverie about an urban guerrilla mother in revolutionary struggle, and the maternal ideal as ambivalent myth and martyr. Giving rise to the contemplation of art as an act of necessity, and the creative journey of the life of an idea in a film.
Benjamín Ávila structures the film as a series of precious moments, remembrances of a difficult year when the politics of patria and family got in the way of his puppy love.
The pic has strong moments, but is bogged down by a script that regurgitates standard-issue ideas without finding anything interesting to say.
As is often the case with directors who adapt their own life-histories, there's the sense that Avila is a little too close to his material.
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