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It's easy to take cheap shots at Patricia Riggen's feature-directing debut for tugging at the heartstrings, and certainly Under the Same Moon aspires to nothing like the political and psychological complexity of The Visitor, another film involving illegal immigrants that was released around the same time. But that misses the point, the nature of the mission, and the effectiveness with which Riggen carries it out. Carlitos encounters an almost Dickensian gallery of rogues and menaces, but that's allegorically appropriate for a crossover film (pun unavoidable) aimed at the general U.S. market as well as the Latino circuit. Nor is the movie guilty (as some have charged) of flogging an Anglo-bad/Latino-good poetics; there's opportunism as well as love among Carlitos's neighbors back home, and although Rosario is exploited and cheated by one of the two L.A. households she serves as a maid, the other family appears fond, even solicitous of her.
Riggen's casting is on the money: Kate del Castillo makes a heartbreakingly lovely Rosario, and Adrián Alonso, in addition to giving a gutsy performance as Carlitos, has a marvelous old-man's face the camera never tires of. Veteran actress María Rojo creates a shrewd portrait of a woman who arranges border crossings and observes her own brand of ethics while doing so, and Eugenio Derbez brings raffish charm to a crowd-pleasing role, a guest worker who, though himself two leaps ahead of "La Migra," becomes Carlitos's reluctant protector. America Ferrara (yes, "Ugly Betty") contributes an unflattering cameo as a U.S. college student of Hispanic descent who doesn't understand Spanish. --Richard T. Jameson
This is such a beautiful movie I love it and I'm so glad I got it very cheap!Published 12 hours ago by Blanca
what a great surprise!! the subtitles were never an issue. the story was great and the acting was phenomenal.Published 11 days ago by Nancy A. McDaniel
Fabulous movie. I show it every year to my Spanish students. Lots of great language and beautiful story.Published 11 days ago by Carole Padian
Completely sappy story told in the most sentimental of ways. Every scene is predictable and the story is rife with coincidence. Read morePublished 13 days ago by BabsRI
If you need a "feel-good," heart-warming story, this is for you.Published 13 days ago by JACK FENDER