Friday, January 27, 2012

A Better Life (2011)

One of the best films to come out of Los Angeles in a while.

At its core, this is the story of a single father in East L.A. trying to make a better life for his son.

Carlos Galindo (Demián Bichir) is an undocumented gardener trying to stay afloat financially and keep his rebellious son Luis (José Julián) away from gang influences. Things look up when Carlos buys the truck and tools of the man he works for to start his own business and takes on an acquaintance, Santiago, as an apprentice. Santiago steals the truck and tools, and Carlos and Luis embark on a dangerous journey through the L.A. underbelly to recover it.

It's easy to see why Bichir was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. Of the nominees, his role is probably the least flashy, but I'm willing to bet it has the most heart as well. José Julián is also a standout in this subtle, moving drama.

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