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Bella (Beauty) (2006)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 64
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 36

Critics labeled Bella as a simplistic and mostly pedestrian, but positive word of mouth gave this tiny indie surprising theatrical legs.


Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 18

Critics labeled Bella as a simplistic and mostly pedestrian, but positive word of mouth gave this tiny indie surprising theatrical legs.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 20,173

My Rating

Movie Info

A man whose life is about to be changed forever discovers that sometimes it takes losing it all to finally appreciate the things that truly matter in director Alejandro Monteverde's emotional tale of self-discovery. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

May 7, 2008


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All Critics (66) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (36) | DVD (4)

This is not a weepy, but a story about healing, forgiveness and redemption.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

From the quiet performances to the sensitive direction, everything about this movie is convincing except the very story that drives it.

April 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bella is certainly a sweet, life-affirming picture, but it's just not authentic or captivating enough to justify its wildly concocted scenario.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comment (1)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rarely are crowd-pleasers so effortlessly artful.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alejandro Gomez Monteverde's first feature may have more heart than head, but it's also just as interesting for what it leaves out of its romantic story as for what it retains.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It wants to answer the questions it's clearly too timid to ask, but the questions are always so much more interesting.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comment (1)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is nicely shot in New York and subtitled "One moment can change your life forever". There's not a moment here likely to change ours.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Bella is without doubt one of the least apologetic blendings of heartfelt intentions, cinematic manipulation, and ultra sentimentality that I have seen in some time.

May 19, 2008 Full Review Source: DVD Review | Comment (1)
DVD Review

Bella is mostly harmless, feel-good fare, and not unlike a TV movie of the week in depth. And you could take your old granny with you to see it, without fear.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Bella is an irrefutably effortless and heartwarming film, another indie gem with a deep soul and a beautiful message.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette

Bella is a gentle film with a big heart.

February 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Corn smothered in queso, this sentimental hokum sticks in your throat.

February 3, 2008 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

It's more of a life story than a love story. It's also a story that would play just as well if you waited to see this on the small screen.

November 28, 2007 Full Review Source:

Its anti-abortion argument is loaded: How many pregnant waitresses discover they've been working alongside a kind, sensitive and handsome former millionaire soccer star with no girlfriend who's happy to become an adoptive father?

November 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Comments (7)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

An inspirational ethnic soap opera story about two damaged sensitive souls coming together in a stressed-out New York City.

November 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Through the bog of clichés in director/co-writer Alejandro G. Monteverde's melodrama, the flinty reality of Blanchard's performance shines.

November 16, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

Bella turns out to be a clumsy message movie, one that leaves a lingering bad taste, whatever your beliefs regarding its highly divisive subject, abortion.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Bella is a (...) parable of remorse and redemption, a tale of two damaged souls who end up helping each other find release from their tragic pasts.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source:

Tender and intelligent, "Bella" simply shines as one of the finest movies of 2007.

November 13, 2007 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

This is, first and foremost, an actors' showcase, and the entire ensemble delivers.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Audience Reviews for Bella (Beauty)

Quite a slow film, but engaging and moving. The cast are all fantastic, especially Tammy Blanchard as Nina. It reminded me a little of the Before Sunrise and Before Sunset films.
Jose is an ex sports star who has fallen on hard times and is now working in his brother's Mexican restaurant as a chef. When a co worker, Nina, is fired for being late, he goes after her and the pair spend the day together getting to know each other. Ultimately he does something very unselfish to help Nina, and also to ease his own guilt about past events.
I actually thought this was a foreign film, but it is set in the US, and though there is a little Spanish in it, the majority is in English, so don't be put off if you're one of those people who don't like to read subtitles.
August 9, 2010

Super Reviewer

Another 4-star movie derailed by a nicely pat ending. Every shot is visual poetry, and the relationship between Nina and Jose is tenuous and bittersweet. Eduardo Verastegui with the beard and crazy hair looks almost exactly like Jim Caviezel - it's astounding. I was in love. Tammy Blanchard is gritty and endearingly aloof. She's got a great mouth for this role - a tough pout. Charming supporting characters, nice flashback/fantasy editing, effective mix of languages.

The end leaves too many questions though. Where does Nina go for four years? Okay that's only one question, but without the answer and the turning point of Jose's choice, it just seems like a tacked-on happy ending.
February 14, 2010

Super Reviewer

I liked some little things like the "future" inside the present acting. The "insides" are not only from memories, but also from what will happen months after the scene we are seeing. In the other hand, these scenes could also be imagination of some of the two characters and we actually just don´t know if they happened or not. There are two examples: when Nina is supposed to make an abortion, gives up and Jose is there to support her; or in the end, when he adopts her child. This last scene seems real and I think we all take it as real, but it could not be... maybe in another film.

Despite that, everything is too obvious end expected: it´s clear that it will happen a car accident and it´s even clear when we see Jose, now with a long beard, watching a little girl at the beach, that some tragedy happend and that it has something to do with a child.
Also, Eduardo Verástgui/Jose didn´t convince me at all! Predictable and not authentic.

May 17, 2009

Super Reviewer

A very profound and delicate yet great powerful movie. I absolutely loved it. Nina, a young, unmarried waitress at a Mexican restaurant, finds herself pregnant and without work after coming in late several days because of morning sickness. Jose, the restaurant's chef, is taken by Nina's plight and becomes her sole confidant. Jose helps her walk through her decision on what to do with her pregnancy. In the process, he bears secrets from his own mysterious past, which reveal his tenderness and passion for her and the child she is carrying.
May 5, 2008
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

    1. Jose: If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
    1. Nina: Hi, do you know who I am?
    – Submitted by Gigi L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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