Monday, April 18, 2016

The Oak's Shadow (orig. La Sombra del Roble) 2015]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
FilmAffinity/es listing listing* (E. Morales Lastra) review
Revista del Séptimo Arte (I.  Torrealba Ramírez) review

The Oak's Shadow (orig. La Sombra del Roble) 2015] [IMDb] [FAes]*[CChl]* (directed by Nicolás Saldivia [IMDb] [FAes]*[CChl]*, screenplay by Paloma Miranda [IMDb] [CChl]* and Michelle Redôn [IMDb] [CChl]*) is a very well written  and well acted / crafted "small indie" FAMILY DRAMA from CHILE that played recently at the 32nd (2016) Chicago Latino Film Festival.

The film tells the story of a random middle class family living in Santiago, Chile today.  Remarkable in this film is that the characters of all four of the family's members -- the 40-something father named Jorge (played by Daniel Candia [IMDb] [FAes] [CChl]), his university aged son Pascual (played by Vicente Almuna [IMDb] [FAes] [CChl] and 12-13 y.o. daughter Elisa (played by Francisca Poloni [IMDb] [FAes] [CChl]) as well as Jorge's 70-something y.o. father Roberto (played by Julio Jung [IMDb] [FAes] [CChl]), who by all accounts had been holding the family together emotionally since Jorge's wife - Pascual / Elisa's mother - died, some 5 years before) -- are well developed.  As such, fascinatingly, it could be said that ALL FOUR OF THESE CHARACTERS are true "protagonists" (rather than merely "supporting characters") in the story. 

What drives the family to "crisis" -- after 5 years of quiet deceptively quiet passage of time in which Pascual and Elisa were of course "growing-up" (and Jorge / Roberto were "growing older") -- was that Roberto comes to be diagnosed with  and incipient Alzheimer's, and all those conversations that did not take place and internal family disappointments / difficulties that were never confronted, now begin to come home to roost.

This is a deceptively quiet yet quite emotional film that I do believe a lot of Viewers would be able to relate to.  NO ONE is "evil" in this story, but, wow, can life be hard at times.

Again, a very, very well written / crafted tale.

* Foreign language webpages are most easily translated using Google's Chrome Browser. 

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