This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.
If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web. Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.
July 27, 2012
A Better Life (2011)
When it’s over, this is a sad story, but one that is not hopeless. Carlos Galindo (Demian Bichir) is a gardener living in East Los Angeles, who struggles day to day to meet the bills while trying to keep his teenage son (Jose Julian) out of trouble. A Better Life is the story of one man’s dream, representing the story of countless thousands who strive everyday to provide a better life for themselves and their families. Like he did in About a Boy (2002), Director Chris Weitz brings out the most complex emotions in the most natural way. The directing is subtle, but enormously effective as it pulls the viewer into Galindo’s life. As I’m watching Galindo on screen, he doesn’t feel like a character in a film, but rather a person I know. This is not only due to a keen sense of directing, but also to Bichir’s convincing performance, which carries the film from beginning to end. I think this film will resonate greater with men, due to the themes about being a role model, being a provider, and the pressure of self worth in a world where people are defined by their possessions.