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Under the Same Moon (2007)

Eugenio Derbez , Kate del Castillo , Patricia Riggen  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Eugenio Derbez, Kate del Castillo, Adrian Alonso, Maya Zapata, Carmen Salinas
  • Directors: Patricia Riggen
  • Writers: Ligiah Villalobos
  • Producers: Checco Varese, Emilia Arau, Gerardo Barrera, Gina Amador, Hani Selim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • 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: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00180IPM6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Under the Same Moon" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Even across thousands of miles, the special bond between a mother and son can never be broken. It gives hope to Carlitos, a scrappy nine-year-old boy whose mother, Rosario, has gone to America to build a better life for both of them. While Rosario struggles for a brighter future, fate forces Carlitos' hand and he embarks on an extraordinary journey to find her. Critics and audiences alike have praised this inspirational and heartwarming tale of a mother's devotion, a son's courage and a love that knows no borders.


Under the Same Moon puts a human face--several very appealing faces--on the dilemma of Mexican "illegals" living and working clandestinely in the United States and the loved ones back home they're supporting. Rosario, a young single parent, left her village four years ago and jumped the border to find work in Los Angeles; ever since, she and son Carlitos, now nine, haven't seen each other, but she faithfully calls him from the same street-corner pay phone every Sunday morning. When Rosario's mother--the boy's guardian--dies in her sleep, Carlitos taps into an impressive reservoir of street smarts and contrives his own border crossing. The border is just the first of many obstacles to a mother-and-child reunion--not least the fact that the only address the boy has for Rosario is a mental image of the corner she always phones from.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Topic, An Uplifting Film June 23, 2008
Sensitive director Patricia Riggen has, in LA MISMA LUNA (UNDER THE SAME MOON), succeeded in creating a story about the travails of the illegal immigrants from Mexico that serves as a reminder to all of us that one of the reasons for the obsession to take the risks of crossing the border is an attempt to find a better life. While this story concept is by no means a novel one, writer Ligiah Villalobos has provided a script that avoids taking sides, but instead concentrates on creating wholly believable characters caught in the web of immigration - from both sides of the wall. This little film from Mexico is, above all, a film about love, about courage and about resilience and is portrayed by a very fine cast in every role.

Rosario (Kate del Castillo) is a single mother who crossed the border four years earlier in order to support her young son Carlitos (a superb young actor, Adrian Alonso) and her ailing mother by working double jobs as a housekeeper in Los Angeles. She keeps in touch with Carlitos with weekly phone calls and sends him gifts as well as money and love. When Rosario's mother dies, Carlitos takes life into his own hands and plans to cross the border with a little help from his experience with a wise old lady Coyota (Carmen Salinas) who aids immigrants. With his savings in his backpack and his heart aimed toward Los Angeles he sets out on his journey and is thwarted at every turn. He is picked up by two Hispanic students from the US (America Ferrara and Jesse Garcia) whose attempt to transport Carlitos is halted at the border - with the little Carlitos hidden under the seat of the now towed away car.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The numerous discussions here and at other forums over the feelings/issues covered in the film almost makes one want to steer away from watching this - "another" immigration film. I would hope instead that any movie watcher will see this film anyway and be rewarded with a life affirming family love story.

The performances, graceful music, relevant locales and (sometimes rushed but believable) scenarios fill the story line with the necessary themes to make this an inspirational film. The Superman song is hilarious as I had never heard it before - great lyrics. The most interesting thing about this experience was my 6-year old daughter (who speaks only a few words of Spanish) was completely intrigued by the entire piece. The boy actor is obviously ahead of his years, and his expressions and delivery made my girl realize what was happening without even knowing the full dialogue.

The DVD has a decent transfer, and both docus on the disc are worth watching. Docu #1 is over 30 minutes long covering the creation, inspiration and logistics of making the film. Only after watching it did I realize the power of the mother/son relationship showed in the film, even though they shared no scenes together. Docu #2 reveals the artwork/murals created for the film and in respect to the film throughout the Boyle Heights and neighboring areas. For those that revel in the appreciation of mural artwork and the artists behind them - the DVD would be a must-see just for this.

Putting aside all the political and personal issues being written here and elsewhere, I believe the whole family can sit down and watch this film. No work of fiction/reality can capture all of the complexities brushed upon by this movie, but the heart of the message shines through and will make you feel satisfied in the end.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great educational movie December 16, 2008
By Nina B
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie was an excellent addition to my high school Spanish class. It was a good lesson from many perspectives- family values, legal/illegal immigration, culture and class. What was also very good was that the movie did not have any scenes that I needed to "bleep out" for my students! It held thier attention and they were able to see a current topic from a new perspective.
I highly recommend this movie!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the tissues out May 29, 2008
Excellent movie with strong actors. A moving tale of the Mexican stuggle for providing a better life for the rising generation despite great sacrifices made from the parents, in this case, single parent.
The experiences Carlitos encounters as he crosses the border to be with his mother are not far from the truth, unfortunately.
I wish something could be done to have hard working, honest hispanics respected with citizenship and/or at least treated more humanely and given the same opportunity as other people with "papers". This movie is a step in the right direction in opening the eyes of voters.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelente! April 13, 2008
The performace of Kate Del Castillo , Adrian Alonso "Carlitos" and Eugenio Derbez was flawless. It's a true example of a top quality film with great latino actors. This movie deals with a very highly debated issue in the U.S.: immigration. The story is powerful as it depicts the hardships that immigrants without papers must endure to earn a living in order to support their families back home. It also brings to the forefront how some U.S. employers take advantage of their status and exploit them. It is a "must see" film. You will laugh and you will cry as you experience the resilience of these characters. Bravo!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful! Compelling storytelling and beautiful work from the actors.
Published 3 days ago by Latarsha Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars ... in real life but sadly not with such a great ending. It's a very...
This also happens in real life but sadly not with such a great ending . It's a very beautiful story.
Published 3 days ago by Karla Gomez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good movie.
Published 9 days ago by RH
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not something I would watch for my own enjoyment. I only watched...
It's alright. It's not something I would watch for my own enjoyment. I only watched this for a Spanish class.
Published 10 days ago by Alfredo Eustaquio
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Students in my Spanish class loved it!
Published 17 days ago by Karen B. Leonard
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Only watched this for a test for school.
Published 18 days ago by ARTHUR VELLING
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a high school Spanish class.
Great movie. I'm a Spanish teacher and show it to my students every year. They love it and request it even when they've seen it before.
Published 20 days ago by David
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 20 days ago by Hugo Tinoco
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written/ filmed. depitcs what a lot of families ...
Well written/ filmed .depitcs what a lot of families experience.
Published 24 days ago by Jesus Morales
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic for my immigration theme/unit in my Spanish class!
Published 24 days ago by Mary Rose Appel
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