Lovely, unforced Chekhovian notes grace the gently observed snapshot of a summer of unstoppable change and momentous upheaval. Even if there are moments of frustration in which Simón and co-writer Arnau Vilaró pull away just as conflicts are heating up, the film’s immersive, lived-in nature has a transfixing grip.
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This Spanish Garden of Eden hits some perhaps expectedly alluring notes - the ripeness, the colour, the endless days of summer - yet is also a profoundly authentic and moving contemplation of the fragility of family, and, again, childhood.
The film balances a bristling political conscience against its tenderly observed domestic drama.
It manages a light, improvisatory mastery, an immaculate hold on tone, and a grave yet sunlit tableau of an ending, with each one of these faces turned in collective mourning, that I’ll never forget.