Rodrigo Noya, Julieta Cardinali, ...


Genre: Foreign Language, Drama; Starring: Alejandro Agresti, Rodrigo Noya, Julieta Cardinali, Carmen Maura, Mex Urtizberea; Director: Alejandro Agresti; Author: Alejandro Agresti; Runtime (in minutes): 86; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Miramax

The title character in Alejandro Agresti’s safe, exportable semiautobiographical drama Valentin is 8 years old, cross-eyed, and fitted out with a pair of bulky black eyeglasses apparently donated by a Las Vegas casino. Valentin’s mysteriously absent mother abandoned him when his parents split, his father (played by the filmmaker) spends all his time with girlfriends who never stick around, and the kvetchy grandmother (Almodóvar regular Carmen Maura) raising him in Buenos Aires has heart problems. As played by Rodrigo Noya with hamster energy, all Valentin needs is love, preferably from a mother figure. While he’s looking for it, Agresti fattens us up with the kind of kid’s-eye-view tragi-comic adventures that regularly supply empty calories in artificially sweetened foreign-language imports like this one.

Originally posted May 5 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT

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