We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Try this for a synopsis: This Argentinian film riffs off of a character sketch of Roberto, an oddball hardware store-owning loner in Buenos Aires who encounters a hopelessly lost Chinese migrant while he’s out planespotting. Throw in a language barrier, allusions to the Falklands War, and one death by falling cow, and off we go. It sounds bizarre, sure, but the film carries that weight well thanks to a quirky, serendipitous tone and zippy pacing that’s been well-grounded in the international art house since Amélie. Chinese Take-Away doesn’t match its French cousin’s joyousness, but it does a fine job of making eccentric characters accessible and sympathetic. Here, the strident and silent Roberto is forced to shake his quirks as he acts as a surrogate for Jun, who arrives in Argentina with no money, no Spanish, and only an address tattooed on his arm. The duo stumble through adventures with bureaucracy, human nature, romance, and cultural obstacles. But instead of unravelling as a predictable buddy comedy, the film takes advantage of the mystery implicit in all those things to reveal its characters’ humanity.