The film's screenplay is impressive for how crucial plot points emerge as backdrops to the explicit purpose of a scene.
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Ultimately, this is a memorable look at our desire to love and feel safe, to connect and belong — and the unexpected ways in which families can reshape and grow.
Striking a careful balance between narrative and atmosphere, the writer-director paints a vivid portrait of a light-filled summer when a little girl has to face the loss of her mother and integration into a new nuclear family
Summer 1993 is movingly understated and beautifully acted.
Ms. Simón, who has used both of her young performers to powerful effect, also wants us to know how resilient children can be. Some creatures are able to grow new limbs. Frida, given more than half a chance after demanding it, achieves something no less remarkable. She grows new joy and hope.
Childhood memoirs always are under threat from self-indulgence and sentimentality, but 1993 successfully sidesteps both, establishing Simon as a talent to watch.
The film confronts directly the contradictory feelings and impulses of a child who must assimilate into a new family, but Simón foregoes the bells and whistles of many other family melodramas, crafting instead an extraordinary and beautiful work of grief and memory.
With Summer 1993, her accomplished debut feature, Carla Simón succeeds in creating a rich, vivid world from her own turbulent pre-adolescence, though the film does meander in a way that makes its deeply personal nature unmistakable.
Anchored by a pair of extraordinary child performances and titled like something you’d scrawl fondly under a faded photograph in a well-thumbed album, Summer 1993 is a delicately brushed memory of confusion and joy, as if the movie itself can only smile awkwardly — and eventually, tearfully — as it looks back trying to make sense of it all.
It might be with a child’s eyes that Summer 1993 relates the efforts of a six year-old trying to cope with grief, but it is with maturity, empathy and heartfelt emotion that it conveys the uncertain reality that follows.