This loving, close-knit family is not only prone to hysterics; they are also appallingly cheap. Son-in-law Matias (Nicholas Lopez) just happens to have a home made camper, built on a 1958 Chevy pick-up truck, and before long a dozen energetic members of Emilia’s extended family cram into the rusting heap until every sloppy weld and hastily applied rivet threatens to rupture. Amid a toxic cloud of exhaust fumes, the sagging contraption sets out on the highway, where a strange and wacky world of exotic scenery, family bickering and dreadful humidity await it.
Shot documentary style, the film appears to have been loosely scripted with plenty of room for improvisation. Director Pablo Trapero scores big with this approach. He captures the family’s complex emotional layers and makes them feel like genuine products from decades of shared history. It doesn’t hurt that he had the courage to cast family members and other non-professionals in key roles, and the risk paid off. The production’s lack of polish infuses every scene with a slight off-kilter dynamic that somehow manages to be both deeply familiar and strangely intriguing.
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