La Boyita
R0 - America - Film Movement
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (1st January 2019).
The Film

If becoming a woman means getting as boy-crazy as her sister Lulu (María Clara Merendino) then young Jorgelina (Guadalupe Alonso) wants no part of it, deciding to spend the summer in La Boyita with her physician father (Gabo Correa) than with her mother (Silvia Tavcar) and sister at the beach. She hopes to find a playmate in childhood friend Mario (Nicolás Treise), the son of the famiy's country farm housekeeper Elba (Mirella Pascual), who has dropped out of school at age fourteen to help his grandfather (Guillermo Pfening) with his horses. Although Mario intermittently entertains Jorgelina, she learns from her father that boys have to prove that they have become men in less biological and more social terms: in this case, Mario racing one of his grandfather's horses for competition. Mario, however, is hiding a secret that not even he understands, and Jorgelina may have to betray her friendship with him out of fear for his well-being. La Boyita is one of the rare coming-of-age films that has more to do with understanding the nuances of gender and sex rather than a will-they-won't-they potential for a culminating sexual encounter, and its pastoral setting and use of adolescent characters and provincial elders makes sense of the ways in which the film mostly sidesteps direct talk about sex in general and Mario's specific issue, ending with Jorgelina having something private of her own unlike the grown-up things her sister holds over her and refuses to divulge.

Video

Although IMDb lists the film as a 35mm production, the end credits list high definition cameras. The progressive, anamorphic image has a film-like softness but that is as much due to the heavy use of natural lighting and backlit interiors.

Audio

The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is a very centered affair in terms of dialogue with some directional effects, but that is suited to the intimate nature of the film. English subtitles are burnt-in to the video while a closed-captioning file turns out to be from a different film entirely (LA FAMILIA).

Extras

The only extras are start-up trailers for La Familia and Tanta Agua.
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Overall

La Boyita is one of the rare coming-of-age films that has more to do with understanding the nuances of gender and sex rather than a will-they-won't-they potential for a culminating sexual encounter.
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