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common theme of the middle class director, Ken Loach depicting illegal immigration rights and unions. Starring Pilar Padilla as Maya employed as a maid at a high class hotel crossing paths with Sam (Adrien Brody) attempting to form an union within the janitor workers of the hotel.
Great film about immigrants in the workplace and unionization
I never tire of Ken Loach's films. This one I watched back-to-back with Norma Rae and there is some complexity and thoughfulness to the characters here that could only have come only from a director who had made films like those that Loach is famous for, and the understanding he has about Class, that an American director sadly would have handled with far less perception. I did not catch some of Loach's trademarks but it was interesting to see him take on issues in my own country. I found myself a bit dismayed by the ending but the tragic end for his heroes is on thinking it over typical for him... and probably what separates this from usual Hollywood. I recommend this (and all his films)highly.
Sing it, Lennon: power to the people
Damn pinkos. How dare anyone in America expect due compensation for work provided? Let alone...immigrants? Of course, I jest. Few things depress me as much as labor talks. The labor situation in this country is a joke, but if you even mention possible solutions in this part of the country, well...
A pro-union movie is not automatically good. Usually, it's quite the contrary as it seems they are more independent productions than anything else. This movie is no different. Adrien Brody has some star power, and you might recognize a few people throughout, but Brody allegedly took the role without even seeing a script. So it's not like it is a great piece of art and people just signed up.
The workers have a legitimate grip. Lopez is more or less horrible playing the boss of a cleaning agency. By that, I mean the acting is horrible, but I don't doubt bosses like that exist. (You know, I did work for quite a tyrant while at Dillons...don't shop there). The movement to organized labor is a little silly. Brody comes in and by movie's end, well damn, they are going to get treated like humans. Rarely does this happen. Steinbeck wrote of the labor struggles as they happened, without the optimism one might have today. For that reason, his stories are much more credible, maddening, and realistic.
Finally, for as low budget at this is, two things struck me: one, a scene between Brody and his tie-wearing supervisor. I've long made this point: you don't have to look a part to play it. I'd rather have that tie-wearing dude, who was probably pretty much on the same page as Brody, fighting for me than the more disheveled Brody character. And two: I have little sympathy for the sister who sells her body over and over to help her loved ones. It makes her hate the world. Well, goddammit, quit submitting to it. Did selling her body every really help? That's arguable. As long as someone can get away with that, no one is helped. It changes the system for the rest of us who aren't willing to sell ourselves so easily. So that scene bothered me 1. because real people do endure situations like that and it is tragic and 2. because I don't like them for it. And then I feel guilty.
I watched this film for my chicano studies class and I thought it was good. The best part about it was the acting by Elpidia Carrillo. One scene stood out to me in particular involving Carillo's character, Rosa, who reveals her unsettling past and what she's had to do to keep her family afloat. I would watch it again if only for that scene.
This film goes way beyond the issue of poor wages to the weakest members of our society. It's about how we treat each other, what we are ready to do for one another and the perils of ignoring history or injustice.
Now I know I'm different. After recently watching True Grit, Source Code and Vanilla Sky (three movies that seemed to be a complete waste of time and money) it was refreshing to see something worthwhile.
Though predictable, the plot was substantial and the acting superb. The only downside to me was the amount of foul language. Hopefully someday we'll be able to make a point without vulgarity.
I have my opinions about immigration, etc. but this was a flat out good movie, my opinions aside.
really good movie with a good message.....i hated the ending though...
A strong movie, but does not consider anything else besides the point it tries to make