- Roberto Carnevale
- 2 March 2011
The Welsh/Argentinian drama features some fine performances, but suffers from clumsy plotting
The two women at the centre of the story are played with conviction by Nia Roberts and Marta Lubos. The former is given the weightier elements of the story, playing Gwen, who resolves to follow her photographer boyfriend (Matthew Gravelle) to Patagonia for an assignment just as she's received a life-changing medical diagnosis, and who promptly finds herself attracted to their charismatic guide (Matthew Rhys). Meanwhile, Argentinean native Cerys (Lubos) cons her introverted young neighbour (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) into accompanying her on a pilgrimage to a farm in Wales, in order to visit her mother's childhood home.
Laurence Coriat's screenplay, co-written by Evans, mixes humour with tragedy and reflects on cultural differences, love lost and found, and forgiveness. It's at its most engrossing and emotionally involving when focusing on the two women, and benefits immensely from eye-catching cinematography by Fish Tank's Robbie Ryan.
Unfortunately, it gets hampered by leisurely pacing and a few too many contrivances late on. A coming-of-age romance for Biscayart, which affords a superfluous cameo from Welsh singer Duffy, and much angst-ridden soul searching for Gravelle ruin the film's momentum and feel drawn out.
A couple of odd storytelling fumbles strain credibility and deprive Patagonia of any real lasting value.
Selected release, Fri 4 Mar.