Thursday Till Sunday (12A) 96 mins ***
The pre-holiday family car journey is a hell so universal it’s surprising it hasn’t been dramatised more often. Chilean writer-director Dominga Sotomayor here advances from shorts to features by packing a four-strong clan into their station wagon at daybreak for the drive from Santiago to the coast. In the backseat, pre-teen Lucia (Santi Ahumada) begins to spot tensions developing between her parents, and Sotomayor’s interest looks to lie in how gender roles are constructed on these formative outings: while father and son plough on regardless, mother and daughter cling to diminishing reserves of patience, until alternative routes present themselves. Very much the promising first film, it’s prone to burying its sharper observations beneath a degree of drift, but the performers, working almost in teams, are convincing, and Sotomayor elicits consistently charming responses from Ahumada in particular: bored, wistful, alert to the trouble ahead.
Thursday Till Sunday is playing in selected cinemas.