FROM ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
FOR RELEASE: AT WILL DATED: 6/4/2021
MOVIE REVIEW by Richard Roeper
“CHASING WONDERS” Two and a half stars Savino ………. Michael Crisafulli Father ………. Antonio de la Torre Grandfather ….. Edward James Olmos Grandmother ….. Carmen Maura
Gravitas Ventures presents a movie directed by Paul Meins and written by Judy Morris. No MPAA score. Operating time: 85 minutes. Accessible Friday on demand.
The story of the making of “Chasing Wonders” could be extra intriguing than the film itself, given filming was spaced out over a five-year interval a la Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” so the identical actor might play an adolescent boy and a younger man, and the director is listed as one Paul Meins, who has no earlier credit of any type and whose identify was hooked up to the movie solely after the unique director, Jim Loach, departed the mission in the course of the post-production interval.
What the heck occurred THERE?
What we’ve got is the film, and it is a well-intentioned, well-acted and generally visually arresting image that sadly contains a major character who’s so foul and irredeemable it is just about unattainable to consider sure happy-ending developments late within the movie. It feels contrived and compelled.
Scripted by the gifted Judy Morris (“Joyful Ft,” “Babe: Pig within the Metropolis”) and filmed in Australia and Spain, “Chasing Wonders” begins with a teen named Savino (Michael Crisafulli) visiting his father’s household residence in Spain in an effort to study extra about his heritage. We flash again a few half-dozen years to the principle chapter within the story, with younger Savino (performed by a significantly youthful Crisafulli) dwelling on an Australian winery along with his stern taskmaster of a father (Antonio de la Torre); his quiet and loving mom (Paz Vega); his heat and splendidly eccentric maternal grandparents (Edward James Olmos and Carmen Maura); his sweet-natured and party-inclined uncle (Quim Gutierrez) and his uncle’s free-spirited Australian girlfriend (Jessica Marais). Fairly a bunch.
This must be a homestead crammed with music and wine and meals and love and household heat, and nearly all people is on board with that aside from Savino’s father, who was hardened by a tragedy from a long time in the past and has by no means recovered from it. As Savino’s grandfather tries to infuse the boy with a way of journey (Olmos additionally serves because the narrator for the story, sharing dollops of knowledge in his gloriously gruff voice), his father persistently steps on the boy’s desires and tells him laborious work is the one technique to make it on this world, and the winery is his one and solely future.
This man seethes with rage when his father-in-law tries to supply life classes to Savino, when his mother-in-law speaks her thoughts, when younger Savino will get into the sort of bother boys his age are inclined to search out — you identify the state of affairs, and he’ll discover a cause to blow up and storm off. He even kicks his in-laws out of the home when he feels they’re undermining his authority, sending them off on a bus whereas understanding they haven’t any place to go. It is that sort of constant cruelty that undermines the later sequences involving revelations and reconciliation.
“Chasing Wonders” is much less about chasing these wonders than it’s concerning the heartbreak of rising up in a home run by a chilly and damaged man who does not notice how fortunate he’s that his whole prolonged household did not go away him alone to wallow in his distress years in the past.
Minireview: “Chasing Wonders” (Drama, no score, 85 minutes). A boy dwelling at an Australian winery will get encouragement from his splendidly eccentric grandfather (Edward James Olmos). However the boy’s father (Antonio De La Torre) is so foul and irredeemable that he threatens to spoil an in any other case well-acted and generally visually arresting film. Score: Two and a half stars.
(EDITORS: For editorial questions, contact Josh Peres, jperes(at)amuniversal.com.)
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