A Better Life

Directed by Chris Weitz

 

When the Italian director Vittorio De Sica helped craft the postwar cinematic movement known as neorealism, he was intent on finding lead actors who lacked any acting experience. He believed they were less likely to conjure up false emotions in such highly emotional films as Shoeshine and Umberto D. If you didn't know that the lead actor in A Better Life, Demián Bichir, was a star in Mexico, you might assume that director Chris Weitz and screenwriter Eric Eason were scrupulously following De Sica's blueprint, right down to trawling the corners of East L.A. in search of a tired-looking man to play Carlos Galindo, an undocumented worker who is struggling to make ends meet to help support himself and his teenage son, Luis (José Julián).

 

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