living in

Living In: Valentin

by Amy Azzarito

For the past six months, I’ve been on a quest to change my monolinguistic status. (Let’s just say that’s a little easier said than done.) But I have been wearing out the Spanish language movie options on Netflix, which is how I stumbled upon this gem. I’ve already watched this Argentinian film three times and it just keeps getting better. (I love listening to Argentinian Spanish with it’s Italian cadence.) I read a review that compared it to “Amélie” and while I don’t want to raise your expectations so high that you won’t trust me anymore, this was by far one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s the story of Valentin, a precocious little boy living in Argentina with his abuela. His mother left and his father is a bit of a temperamental playboy who doesn’t have much time for his 8-year-old son. So Valentin decides to create his own family.  The story is based on director Alejandro Agresti’s real life and is set in a 1960s Argentina that, if nothing else, is sure to put the country on your bucket list. Let me know what you think. – Amy



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Film: Valentin
Year: 2002
Director: Alejandro Agresti
Starring: Rodrigo Noya, Alejandro Agresti, Julieta Cardinali, Carmen Maura
Production Design: Floris Vos
Assistant Art Director: Natalia Grosso
Costume Design: Marisa Urruti

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  • Oh, this is a surprise! never thought someone outside Argentina would watch this movie. As an Argentinian myself I find it quite exciting! Funny that you hear an italian cadence in our Spanish. Well, must be the way these characthers speak, they are “porteños”, from Buenos Aires. People in the capital city speak differently than we do in the rest of the provinces. It’s a typical “affected” accent. I saw this film ages ago but I remember it was quite nice. That boy was such a great discovery on a TV show and became immediately an excellent actor :) Glad that you enjoyed it!

    have a nice weekend

  • It is a great film. Touching and lovely to look at! I also recommend L’Invasion des Barbares for excellent thought-provoking, but humorous foreign films.

  • This movie is just delightful! If you are into Argentinian movies, you should add Nueve reinas, El secreto de sus ojos, El hijo de la novia and so many more!!! to your movie library!

  • it is great to hear that you enjoy this movie!! I love it and it was a success here in Argentina! It is good that you can appreciate it, too. Our accent is so different from the main Spanish accent from other latinamerica countries right? Actually even when people find it attractive, I’ve heard that when foreigners decide to study Spanish “on site” we are for sure not on the top five countries!! I heard Peru and Ecuador have a very “clean” accent…
    Hope you can come and visit us soon, Argentina is a beautiful country with so much to see! Greetings from Buenos Aires!

  • Argentinian movies are so sensitive and emotional! Regards from Spain… (oh, and try that to change the monolinguistic, maybe hard at the beginning, but a good excuse to travel and practice!)

  • It was amazong to find a review of one of the most beautiful movies from my country. Its poetry makes it a lovely film to enjoy. Thanks!

  • What a surprise! I´m from Argentina. You should watch “El hijo de la novia” (The bride´s son) it´s so good. The director is Juan Jose Campanella. I hope you enjoy it.

  • This has been one of my favorite movies since 2004. I would pester my parents to find out who sang the songs in the movies. Also, Carmen Maura is brilliant in this movie.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  • I stumbled on this film a couple of years ago and watched it twice in the day! Such a sweet surprise to see it mentioned here, it’s a true true gem. I was always curious how it translated, Valentin’s Spanish being so adorable and full of Argentine body! Yay DS for sharing it here!

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