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Bella (2008)

Eduardo Verástegui , Tammy Blanchard , Alejandro Monteverde  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Eduardo Verástegui, Tammy Blanchard, Manny Perez, Ali Landry, Angélica Aragón
  • Directors: Alejandro Monteverde
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 6, 2008
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014BQR6U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bella" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An international soccer star (Eduardo Verastegui) is on his way to sign a multimillion dollar contract when something happens that brings his career to an abrupt end. A beautiful waitress (Tammy Blanchard), struggling to make it in New York City, discovers something about herself that she's unprepared for. In one irreversible moment, their lives are turned upside down...until a simple gesture of kindness brings them both together, turning an ordinary day into an unforgettable experience.

Life is a complicated journey in which right and wrong are sometimes indistinct and where the things that really matter are often unclear. Bella is a powerful, leisurely-paced film in which Jose (Eduardo Verastegui) and Nina (Tammy Blanchard) struggle to do what's right while seeking meaning in their lives. A quiet, brooding man with a dark past, Jose works as a chef in his brother Manny's (Manny Perez) restaurant where he mostly keeps to himself until young waitress Nina is fired. Touched by Manny's unfair treatment of Nina, Jose impulsively leaves work to follow Nina and spends a day with her where he discovers that she is pregnant and alone. The two become incredibly close in the space of a day, sharing their pasts, feelings, and fears, and a lasting friendship is born. As Nina struggles with her pregnancy options and Jose comes to terms with a horrific incident from his past, the pair's newfound friendship aids in growth and healing. In the end, Jose and Nina's lives become permanently intertwined in a most beautiful and unexpected way. Bella is a moving, introspective film that will inspire serious personal reflection. --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
170 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film That May Move You To Tears December 1, 2007
BELLA is one of those unpredictable films that usually may not get noticed amidst an array of movie choices to watch. As the title states, it is a film about love that is deeply rooted love between friends and family. And it is a film about living, then losing, but regaining the American dream; we see the dream lived by one Puerto Rican-Mexican American family, which reveals their rich culture of family, food, language, and religion. Although most of the film is spoken in English, there are a few scenes in Spanish accompanied with subtitles. And it is fitting that the film takes place within the so-called melting pot that is New York City.

BELLA runs a little over 90 minutes, but there are plenty of complexities within the storyline. The film also confronts the issue of perceptions, and how people perceive one another without complete communication. As the film proceeds, the character's stories are intricately told in quick snapshots. The most interesting aspect of the film is how it starts at a fast pace revealing fragments of the main characters' lives, Jose (Eduardo Verastegui), a Chef, and Nina (Tammy Blanchard), a waitress, who work for Jose's brother, Manny (Manny Perez). One day Nina is 20 minutes late for work because she was very ill; unfortunately she gets fired without having to completely explain her situation -- she's pregnant. And this incident begins the film, and Nina's constant pondering of what to do with the rest of her life, keep the child or abort it, and Jose confronting his demons of a past life he left behind four years ago.

There are plenty of moving scenes in the film that tug at the heartstrings. However, there are two scenes that stood out.
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127 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fifteen Minute Test May 6, 2008
On a whim, my wife and I checked out this movie in the theaters a few months ago--and loved it. So we brought it home on DVD tonight to watch with our teen daughter and her boyfriend. "What's it about?" she wanted to know. I tried to explain it was about a Mexican soccer star who's done jail time, and a NY waitress who's pregnant and loses her job...And then I said, "Just watch it with us. If you're bored to tears after fifteen minutes, then go do something else."

This litmus test seemed to work. We sat through the movie, laughing, getting teary-eyed, and warmed by this story's simple passion and grace. "Bella" is shot with great love for its characters. Even the unlikeable ones become special by the end. Following mostly one day in the lives of Jose (soccer-star-turned-chef) and Nina (waitress-and-expecting), it's hard not to become wrapped up in their pasts, their burdens, their hopes, and their hesitant dreams. Together, they build upon a friendship that will give them both a chance at redemption. The way these elements come together is subtle and magical.

From the humorous scenes around the dinner table, to the heart-wrenching flashback, to the understated conclusion, "Bella" is near perfection. Watching it a second time, I was awed by the gentle economy of every shot, every scene, and each facial expression. While I loved "Juno" for its edge and endless wit, "Bella" deals with the issue of unwanted pregnancy too, and does so with its own unique charm.

In the last year, this has to rate in my top five favorite films. It's a film the whole family can watch, though much of its sensitivity will be better appreciated by those who have lived a few years and faced some of life's struggles. What a joy!
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102 of 113 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Two Hearts Beat as One" January 4, 2008
(3 1/2 *'s) `Bella' is a tight and tense love story. Tenderly executed and tightly edited, two romantic protagonists are wounded by their pasts. Jose' (Eduardo Verástegui) is from a Mexican-Puerto Rican household, and Nina (Tammy Blanchard) works as a waitress at the same New York City restaurant as he does. They both are under the authority of Manny, (Manny Perez) Jose's brother, whose sergeant major sensibilities are only understandable when considering the make or break existence of any NYC family business.

She is expecting. Suffering from morning sickness, she is tardy or absent from her waitress post. Having little time for tolerance, Manny fires her without due process. Seeming to have less at stake, Jose follows her and tries to find and give her understanding. He is able to soothe her with badly needed tenderness in her own life. We discover that her boyfriend requires an abortion, a prospect that brings both resignation and tears to her eyes. In the meantime, Jose' has had a tragic past with a young child in his own life. Previously, a city soccer star, Jose' is forced to work for Manny whose martinet demeanor make anything after soccer a viable alternative. As she is introduced to Jose's family, they side with Manny until Jose's preference gives the family time to warm up and get to know her better.

"Bella" is a wonderful, haunting little movie. The chemistry between the couple is marvelous to watch from its fruition, and the way they come to terms with their difficult situations make the movie a cathartic and heartwarming movie experience. (Written and Directed by Alejandro Gomez Monteverde)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars directed and produced -- we need more like this!
This is a lovely story - well written, acted, directed and produced -- we need more like this!!!
Published 6 days ago by C. Weatherhead
3.0 out of 5 stars ... that i thought i was ordering but it was good.
this wasn't the movie that i thought i was ordering but it was good.
Published 7 days ago by von whitaker
3.0 out of 5 stars Genuine
Bella is the winner of the 2006 People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is refreshing in it's story and acting. Read more
Published 9 days ago by RuthSophia
5.0 out of 5 stars Senior retired female
I purchased 2 of these very difficult to find inspiration movies. Very good price.
Published 16 days ago by meechief
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I've ever seen
One of the best movies I've ever seen. The more you watch it , the deeper the layers of the story becomes. I would recommend this movie to everyone
Published 22 days ago by Rochelle LePor
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful film
A truly heart-warming film that shows the virtue of humanity and compassion. Take a break from the violence of mainstream films and enjoy a beautiful story of affection
Published 25 days ago by antonio leiva mari
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie! I highly recommend it
Awesome movie! I highly recommend it!
Published 27 days ago by cbcraw
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 28 days ago by Phillypups
5.0 out of 5 stars love this movie
I love this movie ..My friend rented it from her Library and told me about it, I rented it from Netflixs and I had to purchase it . Read more
Published 1 month ago by Diana
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it.
Very good movie. Ending is a bit confusing though the message is clear.
Published 1 month ago by L. Record
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Topic From this Discussion
Where was Nina?
Hi. I am so glad that you ask this question. This is my take on this story and what i got out of the ending. Alot of people say that this was a "love story" but i disagree because these two characters came together under extraordinary circumstances and they were able to be each other's... Read More
Feb 8, 2009 by T. Sancen |  See all 7 posts
I heard Eduardo (Jose) tell a story about how he was observing at an abortion faciltity doing "research" for Bella when a couple recognized him from his work on Mexican telenovelas. They started talking and she missed her appointment for her abortion and he gave them his phone number... Read More
May 9, 2008 by Proverbs3130 |  See all 4 posts
Am I the only person who thinks life is Bella?
I love hearing stories from people who have been touched by Bella.

I am adopted, and just found out that my mother had considered aborting me. My adoptive parents prayed a novena to St. Joseph once they discovered my mother was pregnant, and I was born the day before St. Joseph's feast day! ... Read More
May 6, 2008 by Celia Alexandra Besore |  See all 6 posts
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