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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.Read more ›
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!
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)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great storyline & fabulous music. Never heard of it before & found it by mistake & loved it.Published 4 days ago by Bonnie K.
A rising soccer star has a terrible accident that shatters his mind and ruins his career. Later, he has a chance at redemption, in this modern-day drama of what is most important... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Ozoner
First of all, Eduardo Verastegui is handsome and did a great job in this beautiful Movie and music. It starts with the messages " If you want God to laugh, tell him your... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Bertha Aguirre
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