Perhaps one of the less celebrated entries on Daniel Day-Lewis' cinematic CV is his role as an itinerant Irish dentist in Carlos Sorin's 1989 drama "Eversmile, New Jersey".
It's the same Sorin who has directed this road movie, which unfolds in the southern Argentinean region of Patagonia. "Historias Minimas" unpretentiously chronicles a trio of separate yet interweaving stories about ordinary people attempting to follow their dreams.
The octogenarian Don Justo (Antonio Benedictti) has handed over the running of his grocery store to his son and daughter-in-law. Fading eyesight prevents him from driving, but he resolves to hitchhike to the distant town of San Julian, where somebody has spotted his beloved missing dog, Badface.
Elsewhere, an obsessive travelling salesman, Roberto (Javier Lombardo), is planning to surprise a young widow with the gift of a birthday cake for her kid. Unsure of the child's gender, the suitor decides to change the design of the present from the shape of a football to that of a turtle.
And in the third, less developed segment, the impoverished Maria (Javiera Bravo) is heading to the recording of television game show Multicoloured Casino with her baby, intent on gaining a prize.
Contrasting the epic Patagonian landscapes with the modesty of his characters' aspirations, Sorin has crafted an appealing portrait of this remote region, where television provides the inhabitants with their main link to the wider world.
Convincingly acted by the mainly non-professional cast, "Historias Minimas" is further proof of the diversity and strength of contemporary Argentinean cinema.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
"Historias Minimas" is released in select UK cinemas on Friday 25th July 2003.