Spanish actor Gustavo Salmerón steps behind the camera to capture the winsome eccentricities of his extraordinary mother Julita, who had three dreams: having lots of kids, owning a monkey, and living in a castle.
Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle
Drawing upon material compiled over many years and on many formats, prolific Spanish actor Gustavo Salmerón's feature directorial debut is a winsome, freewheeling family portrait. The fundamental dynamics of the Salmerón clan will resonate, while their eccentricities — most especially those of its larger-than-life matriarch Julita — will astonish and delight.
As a newlywed, Julita made three wishes: she wanted lots of kids, a monkey, and a castle. Julita got them all. The six children arrived in quick succession, the monkey was acquired from an advertisement, and the castle was purchased with a windfall inheritance. That castle, over time, comes to house an unruly labyrinth of bizarre bric-a-brac, from suits of armour to Julita's long-dead grandmother's fabled vertebrae. Despite her children's pleas, Julita refuses to part with any of it — until dwindling finances force the Salmeróns to move to a more modest abode.
At times during Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle Julita airs her doubts regarding the entertainment value of Gustavo's project. She could not be more wrong. Basking in Julita's inexhaustible playfulness, her unabashed attraction to all manner of objects, and her boundless love for her kin, Salmerón has created a boisterous, hilarious, profoundly affectionate film that penetrates the core of what it means to hold on to a sense of wonder.