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This award-winning film by André Melançon -- set on a ranch on the pampas of Argentina -- tells the story of three children spending a summer with their grandfather. The youngest, Felipe, makes friends with a puppy; his older brother, Daniel, breaks and train his first horse; their 13-year-old sister, Laura, struggles with the transition between childhood and growing up. The kids find it difficult to adapt to their proud and stubborn grandfather, and he learns that he has to change his ways and try to understand them as they all experience the joys and sorrows of growing up and growing old.
This film is an endearing tale filmed, it seems, in perhaps two different languages and dubbed (badly) into English for a mainstream release. The story of four children and their various adventures on their uncle's farm is a touching one, and is made up for by strong performances from the young leads and Tomas Vamos' sun-dappled photography.
Alexandra London-Thompson makes a highly impressive movie debut with an emotionally resonant performance far beyond her years. She is complemented by Santiago González Crende's Martin, a strong screen presence as a young local (it's worth noting a scene was deleted hinting at an attraction between the two).
Sadly the younger-brother characters soon become irritating, the middle brother because of his almost psychopathic need to tame a nearby horse, ('you're MINE now' he whispers to the poor animal as his eyes glint with Gary-Buseyesque intensity) - whilst the younger annoys with his pointless erupting into either baboon-impressions or farts.
But this is ultimately a family film, and could be a great watch for parents and children on a rainy afternoon. Plus, despite it's flaws, it has something a million Disney pics often don't; real heart.
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