Year My Parents Went on Vacation, The
Taking place in 1980, Mauro, a twelve-year-old boy, is thrown into a world of political unrest when his left-wing parents are forced to go on 'vacation.' And though he is suppose to be staying with his grandfather, Mauro is forced to make adjustments to his body and mind as he cares for his grandfather's Jewish neighbor, Sao Paulo. Making new friends has never been a strong suit for the Mauro, but with Brazil playing in the 1970 World Cup, he has a common bond with the diverse people around him. But he still misses his parents, awaiting their return for the championship match, as he has been promised that they will watch it together, as a family.
My biggest complaint about The Year My Parents Went on Vacation is its script and flow. Carrying a very strong story, mixed with some stellar on-screen occurrences, you would think that the film was exciting, interesting and emotional; however, you couldn't be further from the truth. Instead we are greeted with one scene of a raid and another hour and twenty minutes of anti-climatic character development. There is simply no flow to the story, no real 'risk' of the government and no real 'growing-stage' for Mauro.
And speaking of Mauro, I must mention Michel Joelsas, who plays the lovable boy. Though his performance was anything but stellar, I must admit that he was the most likeable character and actor in the film. His emotions and confusion were dead on and his ability to seem innocent yet be in-control was truly amazing. However, I must mention that Joelsas' performance did not have good company as Germano Haiut and Simone Spoladore disappoint as Shlomo and Bia, Mauro's mother, respectively.
And lastly I must put some concentration on the film's predictability. Over the course of a summer, Mauro is subjected to many situations that were both character building and overwhelming for the average twelve-year-old; however, all situations were easily overcome and each solution was simple and predictable. On top of that, there was so much foreshadowing that nothing really came as a surprise, and when things did, they came and went as if nothing of importance ever took place.
In the end, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation had potential; however, it failed to capitalize on that potential and ultimately lacked any real content, becoming a bore before reaching its half way point.