Desierto is a wonderfully taught thriller. Directed by Jonás Cuarón (who co-wrote Gravity), the film stars Gael García Bernal as one of a group of immigrants crossing the Southern border into America. When an unexpected truck breakdown forces the group to traverse through the badlands of the desert, well… let’s just say things don’t go as planned.
Desierto (‘desert’ in Spanish) is a lot like Gravity. Both stories are simple, yet elegantly told, with clear thematic tensions. The stories take place in an open, deadly space, where survival is the primary struggle above all else. The cinematography of Damián García shows off the vast and gorgeous desert, a stunning, deadly land where the drama unfolds.
The acting is solid, with García Bernal being wonderful of course, but also a good turn by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whose character is not unlike The Comedian in Watchmen, at least in certain respects.
Desierto was one of my favourites at TIFF. It’s a stellar production with some great actors, solid story, and beautiful cinematography.