Today: April 15, 2024

Las Acacias

Pablo Giorgelli’s debut feature, road movie Las Acacias, might move as slowly as its protagonist’s lumber truck, but it packs a surprisingly poignant punch in its rather brief running time.

Pablo Giorgelli’s debut
feature, road movie Las Acacias, might move as slowly as its protagonist’s
lumber truck, but it packs a surprisingly poignant punch in its rather brief
running time.
That is
does lies squarely with its simple plot device and warm performances from its
central duo.

Ruben (German
de Silva
), a lonely lorry driver gives a lift to a woman and her baby as a
favour to his boss. On the long drive from Paraguay to Buenos Aires the two are
initially reluctant to connect, but over the course of the journey a bond
develops between them that Ruben knows will end when they reach their
destination.

Much like Sofia
Coppola’s
fabulous Lost In
Translation
, Las Acacias is essentially a tale of two lost souls finding
each other in an unlikely place. Ruben, the weary trucker hasn’t seen his son
in years and after his initial reluctance sees something of his former life in
the younger Jacinta (Hebe Duarte)
and her adorably cute baby. She meanwhile is heading off to visit family in
Argentina and start a new life, insisting her child has no father anymore back
in Paraguay to keep her there.

What develops – as in Translation – is a connection
between the two set against the leisurely pace of the journey itself. Ruben
gradually breaks down his reserved exterior shell and finds himself drawn
towards Jacinta, so much so that the film feels pleasurably longer than its 80
minute running time; De Silva and Duarte injecting their characters with a sense
of familiarity and compassion throughout.

So while there’s no big emotional upheaval or
grandstanding (the dialogue is deliberately sparse), and while the slow pace
won’t please everyone, both characters feel far more real to the audience as a
result, going about their lives and just happening upon each other as we watch.

The ambiguous ending doesn’t betray them either,
allowing the chance of a further encounter depending on how it is read, meaning
that Las Acacias is a delightful road trip movie in which you might wish the
pair never reach their destination.

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