Las acacias (NR)

Drama 84 September 7, 2012
By Melissa Anderson
Winner of the best first feature at Cannes last year, Pablo Giorgelli's minimalist, gentle road movie traverses 900 miles, from Asunción, Paraguay-- where terse, middle-aged truck driver Rubén (Germán de Silva) picks up Jacinta (Hebe Duarte) and her five-month-old baby girl, Anahí-- to Buenos Aires, where the unmarried mother hopes to start anew. Although confined mainly to the cab of Rubén's vehicle, Las Acacias is generous and expansive, subtly registering how these three strangers eventually become at ease with and grow attached to one another. Even with its initial long stretches of silence, the film never feels clinical or cold, but rather compassionate and curious. Despite the quiet in the cab, save for Anahí's babbling and occasional fussing, this trio is exceptional company, with first-time performer Duarte as loose and charismatic as stage-and-screen veteran de Silva. "I'm in no hurry," Jacinta assures Rubén at one point; though never languorous, neither is this lovely film. Watching this taciturn man grow close to mother and child-- close enough that he experiences twinges of jealousy and abandonment toward the end of Las Acacias-- is one of the most satisfying spectacles in a movie this year, a time-lapse of emotions rendered perfectly.
Pablo Giorgelli Germán de Silva, Hebe Duarte, Nayra Calle Mamani Pablo Giorgelli, Salvador Roselli Ariel Rotter, Verónica Cura, Alex Zito, Pablo Giorgelli Independent Pictures

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