This Time Tomorrow builds big drama out of small domestic routines

THIS TIME TOMORROW (Lina Rodriguez). 84 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (August 18). See listing. Rating: NNNN

A centrepiece long take in Lina Rodriguez’s 2014 debut, Señoritas, follows closely behind a young woman as she walks through the streets in Bogota. Different sounds creep in – the city, the men, footsteps getting quicker – and your mind reels at all the stuff that could but doesn’t happen.

Like Señoritas, Rodriguez’s sophomore outing This Time Tomorrow is built with tight frames and long takes. Chief among them is an early moment when a father and teenaged daughter lie cozily in bed glued to a television set. The daughter Adelaida (Laura Osma) keeps beckoning her mother, who remains out of frame but can be heard responding. The scene may seem smaller and less eventful than that nighttime walk – if that could indeed be deemed eventful – but it feels big. 

We’re watching an everyday middle-class family’s dynamic at play in precise details: in inaction, tone of voice and lazy glances in presence and absence and unspoken hostilities and warmth. And we wait for that dynamic to shift when tragedy strikes midway through the film.

This is confidant filmmaking, where a carefully observed and hopeful drama is chiseled out of domestic routines. Rodriguez pulls it off with a captivating cast, who are so naturalistic that their meticulousness could go unnoticed.

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