Amazon Holiday

Monday, March 10, 2008

Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna )

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: When a 9-year-old Mexican boy's grandmother/guardian dies, he crosses the border illegally, and tries to make his way to Los Angeles to find his mother.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Adrian Alonso, Kate del Castillo, Eugenio Derbez, America Ferrera, Jesse Garcia, Maya Zapata, Carmen Salinas

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! If you like small movies. You will get a deeper, more layered understanding of the difficulties and rewards involved in becoming and staying an illegal Mexican in the United States.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: According to the audience I sat with, the movie is much funnier if you are fluent in Mexican-Spanish.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Probably.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It has come out of the Film Independent "Project: Involve" program for minority filmmakers, and it's being distributed by Fox Searchlight, which together pretty much guarantees at least one Spirit Award nomination. In case you're not following, the Film Independent organization nominates the Spirit Awards, so it behooves them to nominate the success stories that come out of their own programs, because then people want to sign up for their programs, which is how they make their money. I know, like most award shows, it's all very legitimate.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Adrian Alonso, who plays the 9-year-old boy, is so good that you wonder how on Earth the director found him. But it turns out he's done 8 times more feature films than the director, starting with playing Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas' son in The Legend of Zorro. And although I had never personally seen any of Kate del Castillo or Eugenio Derbez performances before, I can tell just by watching them that they are two of Mexico's biggest stars.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: For a road-movie shot in only 5 weeks, not a single piece of coverage seemed to be missing. Every necessary angle and reaction shot was there.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Cute and warm-hearted.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: I finally understand why Mexicans like their own music-- which as far as I'm concerned should make their ears bleed, as it does mine. It's the lyrics. Which in this film where all translated into subtitles, rather than simply used as background music. It turns out that (not unlike the slaves), the music tells the story of how they will escape their lives of oppression, cross the border (in both directions), and insult the white man to his face, without him ever being the wiser for it.

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