A BETTER LIFE


A very sincere film about a problem that doesn’t have a solution. It’s about an illegal alien whose son was born in the U.S. and how the two cope. It’s well done in many ways and the background of illegals in the U.S. gives the story a nice grounding in reality, but it’s also a film that I wanted to like more than I did. The most interesting part of the plot is the middle third, which is based on Vittoria De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief. Beyond that, I found the whole thing just a bit too familiar with somewhat formulaic character arcs and a plot that is pretty predictable with no real surprises. Oscar nominee Demian Bichir (of Weeds) goes against type and does a very credible job; director Chris Weitz also goes against type, but doesn’t succeed as well.

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