Patagonia (film)

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Patagonia
Patagoniafilmposter.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Marc Evans
Produced by Rebekah Gilbertson
Flora Fernandez-Marengo
Written by Laurence Coriat
Marc Evans
Starring Matthew Rhys
Nia Roberts
Duffy
Cinematography Robbie Ryan
Editing by Mali Evans
Studio Rainy Day Films
Distributed by Verve Pictures (UK)
Release dates
  • 10 June 2010 (2010-06-10) (SIFF)
  • 4 March 2011 (2011-03-04) (UK)
Running time 119 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Argentina
Language Welsh
Spanish
English

Patagonia is a 2010 drama film about different Welsh and Argentine people connected to "Y Wladfa", the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, Argentina. The film stars several well-known Welsh actors including Matthew Rhys, Nia Roberts and the singer Duffy. Directed by Welsh director Marc Evans (the husband of Nia Roberts),[1] it premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on 10 June 2010 and had its UK premiere in Cardiff on 4 March 2011.[2]

It was selected as the British entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards,[3][4] but it did not make the final shortlist.[5]

Plot[edit]

Gwen and Rhys are a Welsh-speaking couple living in Cardiff where Rhys works as a photographer and Gwen is employed as a historical interpreter at a local Welsh cultural centre. Gwen is also an aspiring actress and although she periodically attends auditions, she has yet to be hired for a theatrical part. The couple's inability to conceive a child has caused increasing tension between them. Hoping to reinvigorate their relationship, the pair decide to travel together to southern Argentina where Rhys has been commissioned to photograph the historic Welsh chapels in Patagonia, a vast windswept landscape which was a destination for Welsh immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While there, they are served by their local Welsh-Argentine guide, Mateo.

Meanwhile, an elderly Welsh-Argentine woman named Cerys is planning a trip to Wales to discover the farm where her mother was raised before immigrating to Patagonia during the 1920s. She decides to take along her agoraphobic young neighbour Alejandro to assist her. In Wales, he finds romance with a local girl, Sissy.[6]

Main cast[edit]

Pre-production[edit]

Matthew Rhys found out about the role under unusual circumstances. In 2005, he was in Patagonia on horseback with descendents of the region's original Welsh settlers;[7] during the trip, he crossed path with Marc Evans, who was there scouting for locations.[1]

Reception[edit]

Following a screening at the 2010 Mill Valley Film Festival, Dennis Harvey of Variety said "Patagonia unspools two parallel narratives connected only by a historical anomaly .... While its separate parts may not quite add up, they complement each other quite pleasingly." He also notes "Evans nimbly cuts between the two unhurried threads, which form a nice textural contrast in d.p. Robbie Ryan's lensing of the disparate landscapes—one all lush, verdant hills, the other rich in desert hues. Jumping back and forth also helps balance out stories that might have seemed insubstantial if each stood alone."[8] Another critic at Mill Valley, Sura Wood of The Hollywood Reporter, called it an "intermittently diverting road movie, whose alternation between parallel storylines grows tedious over the course of its two-hour running time"; Patagonia is "somewhat redeemed by gorgeous cinematography of far flung locations not often seen in movies, and fine performances from its cast."[9]

The Independent described it as "two road movies for the price of one, running the parallel stories of pilgrims on a search for identity"; the film is "wonderfully shot by Robbie Ryan (Fish Tank)" and "displays a lyrical sensitivity both to the desert landscapes of Patagonia and to the remote, rain-glazed hills of Wales, and the unlikeliness of their ancient connection (the Welsh settled in Patagonia in 1865) becomes rather moving."[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Booth, Hannah (2 March 2011). "Matthew Rhys: from Patagonia with love". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  2. ^ Waldram, Hannah (8 March 2011). "Patagonia – Cardiff film locations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  3. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (13 October 2011). "U.K. enters 'Patagonia' for Oscars". Variety. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  4. ^ "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  5. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Vie for Oscar". AMPAS. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  6. ^ Patagonia Seattle International Film Festival. Retrieved on 4 September 2010
  7. ^ "Introduction". Patagonia: Crossing the Plain (ISBN 1848511973). matthewrhyspatagonia.co.uk. "In October 2005, actor Matthew Rhys set out on the hardest journey of his life. He joined a group of the toughest men he had ever met, for a gruelling 700km, month-long trek, across the South American country of Patagonia, tracing the footsteps of an elite band of intrepid Welshmen known as Los Rifleros." 
  8. ^ Harvey, Dennis (18 October 2010). "Mill Valley: Patagonia (Wales-Argentina)". Variety. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  9. ^ Wood, Sura (29 October 2010). "Patagonia – Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  10. ^ Quinn, Anthony (4 March 2011). "Matthew Rhys: from Patagonia with love". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 

External links[edit]