Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Better Life

An illegal immigrant spends his days landscaping in the hopes of buying his own truck to start his own business and steer his son away from the local gangs that plague their L.A. neighborhood. After his dreams are realized and immediately crushed when his newly purchased truck is stolen, the gardener and his son transverse the city in search of it, while bonding in the process. Chris Weitz's "A Better Life" is an excellent look at both a father/son relationship as well as the current immigrant situation in our country. Weitz and screenwriter Eric Eason, from a story by Roger L. Simon, create a sympathetic portrait of a proud and good natured man, trying to do nothing more than provide the promise of the title to his son. In the lead role, Demian Bechir provides an excellent, fully fleshed performance and Jose Julian is quite good as well as his teenaged son. In addition to its excellent message and performances, "A Better Life" is a great looking film also and a reminder that not all urban films need to be gritty and bleak.