Intimate Stories

"Very Good"

Intimate Stories Review


Carlos Sorin's Intimate Stories could just as easily have been titled Destination: San Julián, as its three unrelated Argentinean characters all embark on a trip from their rural Southern Patagonia town of Fitz Roy to the provincial capital searching for celebrity, romance, and a chance at atonement for past sins. A film of gentle humanism that delivers equal doses of repentant solemnity and comical lightheartedness, Sorin's cinematic road-trip - its uplifting spirit unsullied by cheap, cloying sentimentality - has an ambulatory pace and a cautious optimism that's as easygoing as it is poignant. Divided into three separate narratives that occasionally intersect out on the country's vast, barren two-lane highways, it's a compassionate portrait of lonely people who, driven by desperation and determination, resolve to take a risky, potentially heartbreaking chance on a better life.

María (Javiera Bravo), a new mother who religiously sends applications to her favorite game shows, is selected to appear on Multicolored Casino, a gaudy, amateurish program that films live every day in San Julián, and journeys - with baby boy in tow - to the TV studio for her one shot at self-esteem-boosting stardom. Don Justo (Antonio Benedicti), the aging owner of a roadside supermarket forced to endure his patronizing son and daughter-in-law - who call him "crazy" behind his back and cut his food for him - straps on his new hiking boots for the 200-mile trek to San Julián after learning that his beloved runaway dog Badface has been seen there. Meanwhile Roberto (Javier Lombardo), a cagey salesman peddling fat-reducing topical paste, endeavors to deliver a birthday cake to Rene, the child of a lovely San Julián client he urgently plans to woo. Convinced that happiness, contentment, and salvation await them at the end of their expeditions, each sets forth on his or her own mini-odyssey, along the way meeting a variety of strangers while discovering that, though dreams can be fragile and illusory, kindness, and selflessness are commodities in plentiful supply for those open to receiving them.

Unfolding with casual delicacy, Intimate Stories (written by Pablo Solarz) feels like a campfire yarn bereft of the giant, climactic payoff, instead maintaining a relaxed, almost demure tone of destiny-touched hopefulness. Sorin's direction is polished but unfussy, lending a believability to his tales' incidents of happenstance, and his informal mise-en-scène is aided by his cast of professional and non-professional actors. Every one of Sorin's performers brings an affecting naturalism to the film, from Bravo's silent, beaming smile when María wins the coveted "multiprocessor" prize on national TV, to Roberto's frustrated destruction of Rene's birthday cake after he spies the object of his affection with another man. The film's stirring emotional center, however, is the understated Benedicti. As the despondent Don Justo - an obstinate elderly man who believes Badface deliberately deserted him for a crime he committed years earlier - the 80-year-old first-time actor exudes shame and remorse through minimal gestures (a corner-of-the-mouth grin, opening his eyes slightly wider than normal) while conveying the onerous burden of his character's guilt via his scrunched, stooped posture. And though Sorin's portrait of the aged traveler can sometimes be too precious for its own good, the director nonetheless finds poetry in the simple, low-key image of Don Justo mischievously wiggling his ears for a group of giggling, delighted children.

Aka Historias Mínimas.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 24th October 2002

Distributed by: New Yorker

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Martín Bardi

Starring: as Roberto, as Don Justo Benedictis, as María Flores, as Julia, as Estela

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.