(2004)3Josh RalskePablo Trapero's Rolling Family is an amiably sour road movie, a predictably plotted family saga which still feels heartfelt. It's nearly a given, once Emilia's (Graciana Chironi) family agrees to accompany her from Buenos Aires to her remote hometown on the border of Brazil, that there will be many mechanical and familial breakdowns along the way, some comic and some tragic. But Trapero's cast has a freewheeling energy, and there's enough colorful roadside detail across the Argentinean countryside to keep things lively as the characters' conflicts reach their inevitable boiling point, centered around the hotheaded Oscar (Bernardo Forteza), who unleashes his righteous wrath against both the irresponsible hippie father (Federico Esquerro) of his grandson and his smugly bourgeois brother-in-law (Carlos Resta). While some of the many characters get short shrift, the interaction of the adolescent cousins shows that Trapero has insight into teen sexuality. Emilia tells a fireside story of a good man gone bad, but its meaning seems lost on the family. They seem to have internalized the corruption they encounter along the road. The best thing about Rolling Family is the way Trapero encapsulates the meaning of the experience with the quiet rhyming shots of Emilia sitting alone that open and close the film. Emilia is the moral center of the film, and the subtle difference in these two shots speaks volumes about her relationship with her family.