Monday, May 26, 2008

Magical things happen under "La Misma Luna"


Perhaps still lurking in the shadows of Indy and Iron Man you might find a little Fox Searchlight movie called "Under the Same Moon." If so, I can't urge you strongly enough to go see it right away.

This one has been playing at our local Regal theater for at least six weeks now, but I had until now somehow managed to just dismiss it. I think my fears were it would be a) a polemic about immigration, b) a super sappy flick that's just way too sweet for me or c) a religious movie.

I really have no idea where I got the third idea from, but it's the only that's completely wrong. What Patricia Riggen has instead delivered here is a perfectly charming movie that is indeed about immigration and is fairly often super-sappy, but never in a manipulative way.

I've been surprised that there haven't, before now, been more mainstream movies about this subject that clearly impacts the lives of so many people. I suppose it would be the perfect subject for a "Traffic"/"Crash"-type ensemble drama, and if I'm not mistaken there is indeed one coming very soon with a slew of big stars attached to it. I do have some stomach for those (though words can't truly describe just how much I hate "Crash"), but I prefer movies like Riggen's which examine the most fragile of human ties and the forces that bend them to the breaking point.

But I guess a word or two about what this flick's actually about would be in order before I go any further. And when you look at it on paper, it does indeed ooze sap from every pore. At the outset we see a phone call from Rosario (Kate del Castillo), an illegal immigrant of some degree who's working as a maid in L.A., to Carlitos, the young son she's left behind with her mother in Mexico. When grandma dies, young Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) decides he has to brave the journey to America to reunite with his mother. You can probably guess if he gets there or not, but if you can't I certainly won't tell you, and even if you can it's still well worth watching the journey unfold.

Del Castillo does a great job of portraying just how devastating it can be to live with that much uncertainty, but the real stars here are Alonso and Eugenio Derbez as Enrique, an illegal laborer who forms an unlikely bond with our young hero. Once the two of them reluctantly hit the road together the movie is full of small moments of grace, and it's here where Riggen's "message," if there is one, comes out. As the two of them are on the bus bound for L.A., Enrique turns to Carlitos and says "nobody chooses to live like this." By forcing us to think about just how wrong or right he is, Riggen and screenwriter Ligiah Villalobos subtly make a very powerful point.

If you're looking for an enjoyable detour from the blockbuster expressway, I really can't recommend this little movie highly enough. Enjoy it while (and if) you still can. Peace out.

4 comments:

jeremy said...

This film is now on my radar, thanks RF!

R.I.P. Sydney Pollack and "Two Thumbs Up"

Reel Fanatic said...

I was so sad to hear about Pollack dying, Jeremy, and would have certainly written up a tribute if I hadn't had to spend the past few days dogsitting for a friend of mine

Anonymous said...

warhammer gold warhammer money warhammer accounts tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape money runescape gold runescape gp runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling cheap rs2 powerleveling runescape equipment buy rs equipment runescape runes cheap rs2 runes runescape logs cheap rs2 logs runescape items buy runescape items runescape quest point rs2 quest point cheap runescape questpoint runescape gold runescape items runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape accounts runescape gp runescape accounts runescape money runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling tibia gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas wow power leveling wow powerleveling runescape questpoint rs2 questpoint Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling Hellgate money Hellgate gold buy runescape logs buy rs2 items cheap runescape items Hellgate London gold Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape items rs2 accounts cheap rs2 equipments lotro gold buy lotro gold buy runescape money buy runescape gold buy runescape runes lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling eve isk eve online isk buy runescape power leveling rs2 power leveling tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts Fiesta Silver Fiesta Gold Scions of Fate Gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium SOF Gold Age Of Conan Gold AOC Gold ArchLord gold tibia money tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling buy ArchLord gold DDO Plat Dungeons and Dragons Online Plat

wow gold said...

In wow gold players buy wow gold create cheap wow gold a character world of warcraft gold and fast wow gold adventure age of conan gold through aoc gold the ffxi gil, warhammer gold missions, runescape gold blowing tibia gold things swg credits up lotro gold and 2moons dil,maple story mesos bullets, to eve isk name lineage 2 adena but a eq2 plat few wow power leveling things. Generally wow power leveling, if you’ve power leveling seen world of warcraft power leveling it in wow leveling a matrix power leveling film wow gold chances buy wow gold are cheap wow gold you can world of warcraft gold do it wow power leveling in the power leveling game. This wow gold is cheap wow gold excellent news buy wow gold for the vast power leveling mob wow powerleveling of people wow power leveling who cheap power leveling have wow gold always buy wow gold wanted to cheap wow gold experience world of warcraft gold the power leveling matrix wow powerleveling and do wow power leveling their cheap power leveling part power leveling in helping wow powerleveling the wow power leveling people cheap power leveling of Zion. Or wow gold even buy wow gold for those cheap wow gold people world of warcraft gold who wow gold were secretly wow geld sympathetic wow gold kaufen to the billig wow gold Machines, or those wow gold who found cheap wow gold the Merovingian buy wow gold charming bolts nuts and were nut and bolt secretly rooting for his Exiles throughout the film.
wow gold
buy wow gold
cheap wow gold