A fraternal odyssey
by Domenico La Porta
- French director Edouard Deluc‘s first feature film scores high marks particularly for its characters and its invitation to discover a magnificent land.
Welcome to Argentina [+see also:
interview: Edouard Deluc
film profile] is the first feature film by French director Edouard Deluc. This movie brings him to the end of a long adventure which began with ¿ Dónde está Kim Basinger ?, his short movie which serves as the basis for the feature film. This coproduction between France, Belgium and Argentina was selected out of competition for the 4th edition of Festival of European Cinema of Les Arcs, where it was very well-received by the audience. This road movie in fact surfs along on the nonchalance (and practical oenology) of Sideways, wandering freely from a drama to a "feel good movie" without ever becoming too heavy, even when it addresses subjects such as depression or mental disorders.
The story is easy to summarize. Marcus takes his younger brother Antoine to Argentina to attend their cousin's wedding in the province of Mendoza. Antoine is suffering from depression after a break-up, and life has not treated Marcus much better. For these fragile brothers who have allowed their relationship to drift apart, the trip turns into a journey of initiation…
Welcome to Argentina is all about discovery and setting things into perspective. It is, first of all, an opportunity to explore the Argentinean landscape, filmed through the awe-struck eyes of a director whose images succeed in conveying his love of the country. Edouard Deluc’s second declaration of love is for his actor, Philippe Rebbot (Marcus), who blurs the boundaries between actor and character in a moving role which fits him like a glove. It's almost as if this movie was his shell. Beside him, while the performances of Nicolas Duvauchelle (Antoine) and Paloma Contreras (Gabriela, the flamboyant Latino) are more measured, the viewer will enjoy being entertained by the performance of Gustavo Kamenetzky, who returns as the receptionist – the part he played in the short movie – making Gonzalo a very welcome comical sideline. Worth noting, the presence of musician and actor Benjamin Biolay in the last part of the film, bringing immediate credibility to his role as the French cousin living in Mendoza.
Thanks to its strong points — the chemistry between the characters, the scenery, the music by Herman Dune, the subtle treatment of the themes — Welcome to Argentina follows the linearity of a screenplay which observes the rules of a “road movie” step by step, without ever taking the risk of any surprises, but meeting the challenge of entertaining the audience, revealing and touching the hearts of its viewers in all simplicity.
(Translated from French)