This year's Golden Bear winner Alcarràs is unfortunately as underwhelming as its simple premise suggests, although it has moments of brilliance that show potential for Spanish newcomer Carla Simón.
Basically a docu-drama that documents the days after a Catalonian family learn about the news that they are about to lose their orchard, Alcarràs reminds me of Lucrecia Martel and Carlos Reygadas, in both good and bad ways.
Instead of providing shock values or dramatic plot devices to shake things up, Simón was bent on reflecting on the microscopic banality of everyday life, despite the potential for necessary tensions and urgency. Simón clearly loves and understands her people and their ways of living so much that she brought out the absolute best of the non-professional yet charming Catalonian ensemble. Jordi Pujol Dolcet and every child cast member were simply exceptional. I just wish Alcarràs as a whole were either more stylish or more emotional.