I love when a movie actually moves me enough to want to blog about it. It's not often. Especially now during the proverbial "off season" of cinematic releases. Yeah, summer's coming and we'll be chock full of a bunch of popcorn munchers, but what is the likelihood we will really remember any of them beyond that first weekend? Not too good.
However, Katie and I did see one this past weekend that we both thoroughly enjoyed and it was the first movie that we have both loved since Juno at the end of last year. And it is one we will both be remembering for quite some time. The film was Patricia Riggen's La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon).
In the simplest terms possible, it is a story of illegal immigration. On a deeper level, it's the story of Carlitos (Adrian Alonso), a young boy whose mother, Rosario (Kate del Castillo), leaves him in their native Mexico with his grandmother while she comes to LA in hopes of earning enough money to bring him up to live with her. The only reason she leaves him behind is for his own safety as she knows she will spend all her waking hours either working or dodging INS agents. After four years, Rosario has earned about half of what she needs to hire an immigration lawyer to take her case and help reunite her with her son. For the time being, the only contact they have is through letters sent from a P.O. Box to hide her location and a phone call every Sunday at 10 a.m. sharp.
Shortly after his ninth birthday, though, Carlitos' grandmother dies in her sleep. Afraid of being taken by an aunt and uncle he never realized he had, Carlitos instead makes the decision to cross the border into the U.S. to find his mother himself. Once over the border in Texas, he must rely on fellow ilegales to help him get to Los Angeles, including the all-for-himself Enrique (Eugenio Derbez).
Jesus, this movie is a roller coaster of emotions. From anger to love to frustration to heartbreak to humor, this movie has it all. And it slipped completely under the radar. While it is officially listed as a 2007 release, it didn't open in the States at all until March 19 of this year, so it is a strong contender for top film of the year.
I gotta admit, I love when low-budget indies are better than the blockbuster releases. I only wish they would earn more money than they do. More often than not, they deserve it. And what won in the theaters this weekend? Baby Mama. Seriously people? Spend your money on more worthwhile fare.
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I'm hoping for some blog love for Katie here, folks. She has finals in two classes on Tuesday and Wednesday, thus bringing her first semester of grad school to a close. She received a 95% in her first class that ended several weeks ago and she's hoping for similar grades in these other two. So please show some love!