Friday, January 09, 2009

Acné (Acne)

The best word to describe this movie as a whole is: cute. Yes this Federico Veiroj film is really a cute film with a coming of age story told in such an original way that is refreshing to find that it’s still possible to tell a so much visited theme in a fresh and different way.

The films tells a slice in the life of 13-year-old Rafael Bregman and starts when most coming of age stories finish as opens with Rafael having sex with his much older house maid. One thing the maid does not allow him: to kiss her in the mouth. With the congratulation and approval of his friends that like normal young teenagers mostly speak about sex, Rafael embarks in a series of visits to the local whore house were none of the prostitutes allow him to kiss them. So, this boy quest becomes the sweetest and cutest quest to find a girl with whom he can share his first kiss. But his main problem is his lack of self-esteem thanks to his serious face acne.

The story is told in the most interesting way as shows a boy that’s good in absolutely nothing and -purposely in the story- his everyday life goes by with anything interesting him or generating on him any kind of emotions, so Alejandro Tocar’s (Rafael) performance is totally expressionless or deadpan which generates some very cute comic moments.

The movie has above production values with some very good framed scenes, great slowish pace and adequate cinematography for an urban setting; but I find that the real value of this movie is Federico Veiroj that wrote a very original story on a very often visited theme and shows skills of more accomplished directors, as I haven’t mention that this is Veiroj opera prima!

The film has been collecting top honors since the project won the Horizontes Latinos Film in Progress 12 TVE Award at the 2007 San Sebastian fest and was an official selection in the Quinzaine des Realisaterus in the 2008 Cannes, was in competition at 2008 Toronto fest and the 2008 San Sebastian fest, won the Jury Prize at the 2008 LA AFI fest, won the third prize of First films at the 2008 Havana fest, and is nominated as Best Spanish Speaking Foreign film at the 2009 Goya Awards.

I have to say that is the best Uruguayan movie I have ever seen (but haven’t seen that many) and definitively is one film that I do recommend especially to those that enjoy Latin American cinema from non-traditional movie centers in the region. But also is a movie that I know that general audiences will enjoy. One word of advise, the movie is highly sexually themed but is so cutely presented and integrated into the story that does not become important in any sense.


No comments yet