A Better Life
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From the director of About A Boy comes a touching, multi-generational story that follows father and son as they embark on a physical and spiritual journey where they discover that family is the most important part of the American dream.
Top Customer Reviews
Completely devoted to his teenage son Luis (José Julián), Carlos Galindo (Demian Bichir) maintains his humanity and dignity in the face of greed, deception, and cruelty. The inescapable precariousness of his situation underscores the futility of Carlos' efforts to better the life of his son as well as to improve his own condition. The dream of owning a business, moving to a better neighborhood, and giving his son a good education remains just that - a dream. In the end, an illegal, Carlos submits himself to the law and accepts its harsh verdict of deportation only to attempt to cross the border again, this time to reunite with his son.
The film probably will not change anyone's views on immigration policy in this country, but it cannot leave any thinking person unmoved.
Carlos Galindo (Demián Bichir, in an extraordinarily fine performance) crossed the border into the US with his new wife, looking for a way to improve his life. Upon arriving his wife gave birth to their son Luis (José Julián) and then promptly left Carlos in search of a better life, leaving Carlos to raise Luis alone. Carlos is an honest, caring man who must live in the shadow of being illegal: he cannot have a driver's license or papers that allow him the benefits of other people. Carlos has a steady job as a gardener with Blasco (Joaquín Cosio) who owns a truck and the two men work hard as gardeners.
When the film opens Carlos is saving is money from working with Blasco, living in a tiny house in the smarmy side of Los Angeles, trying to provide better schooling for his 15 year old Luis.Read more ›
Wow; he was outstanding.
The film centers around an illegal immigrant named Carlos, working as a gardener in LA. He came to America with his wife and young son hoping to make a better life for them. Years later, he is raising his now teenage son alone, and his life really isn't that much better. He works hard, day in and day out, but he isn't making much headway. When a business opportunity presents itself, Carlos is hesitant to embrace it, but with a push from his sister he takes the leap, hoping that the payoff will be grand. In the meantime, his son is being persuaded by schoolmates to join a gang, and his growing frustration with his own situation is making him question his own loyalty to his father.
Sadly, `A Better Life' works better on paper than it does on film. When Bichir is not on the screen, the film falters; especially because the depiction of the gang and Carlos's son's friends are pretty clichéd and poorly acted. It takes you out of the gritty realism that Bichir brings to his role and his scenes. It felt like two separate films conflicting with one another; which is semi-understandable considering that Carlos and his son live in two separate worlds, but the cohesion needed to meld these two worlds together was missing. Bichir is remarkable though; a slow burning performance that grows in intensity but contains so much subtlety.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good character study. Moving film that has one feeling gratuitous with things that may be taken for granted in life.Published 12 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I found this movie to be very touching and inspiring. Highly recommend. Really opened my heart to have more empathy and compassion for the immigrants trying to better their lives,... Read morePublished 1 day ago by day
its shows a part of the failed immigration policy US has no one likes to talk about.Published 2 days ago by a real person
I love this movie because it shows my students how hard migrants work to simply live day to day with passion and commitment.Published 3 days ago by Maria G. Green