A secret a father hides desperately from his wife, a series of unfortunate events, sex, tennis and, a family of cuicos, there’s certainly a lot packed into the trailer for La voz en off — the latest feature from Chilean director Cristián Jiménez — though it’s not exactly clear what it’s all about.
As one of two Latin American films in the official competition at this year’s San Sebastián International Film Festival, La voz en off will be vying for the coveted Concha de Oro (this is where the Chileans start to laugh), the festival’s top prize claimed by heavyweight directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and Terrence Malick. Win or lose, Jiménez is no stranger to San Sebastián. His 2009 feature debut, Ilusiones ópticas, premiered in the festival’s Horizonte Latino sidebar and his second effort, Bonsái, played Cannes vanguard “Un Certain Regard” section in 2011 before makings its way back to Horizonte Latino later that year.
La voz en off (roughly translated to The Voiceover) follows a summer in the life of Sofía, who lives in the southern Chilean port city of Valdivia. A recently separated mother and vegetarian (apparently this is an important detail), Sofía takes a yearlong vow of abstinence from all forms of communications media — cell phone, internet, even books — after the unfortunate breakup of her marriage in order to “purify” herself.
After deciding to set up her home as a studio to do voice-over work, Sofia finds herself spending a lot of time at her parents’ always crowded and chaotic house. In addition to her mom and dad, her grandmother lives there together with her sister Ana, who just came back from Paris, with her kid and husband. As things go, everything quickly falls apart for Sofía and comedy ensues.
A win this year would make La voz en off the first Chilean film to pick up the Concha de Oro (had to say it again) since 2001’s Taxi para tres. Weeena!