The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (17)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (10)
| Rotten (7)
Esparza's working with untrained actors and at times they stumble haltingly through scenes, seemingly grasping for lines and straining for reactions. But there are also moments when it seems as if life itself is being captured.
By the end it achieves a poignant, impassioned tone reminiscent of classic neorealism.
Set in a village in (Mexico), the slow, thoughtful and absorbing portrait of a working-class family whose father has just returned from being an undocumented worker in New York, Aquí y Allá puts a face ... on the immigration debate.
Esparza's cast of unknowns is so fresh and raw that the drama could be mistaken for a documentary if the camera work weren't so controlled ...
Award-winning examination of migrant labor would have worked better as a documentary.
If the intent was to keep the characters here just as anonymous as most migrant workers are to prosperous people in the United States, it succeeds: Pedro and his family remain mere sketches.
The writing itself is of a low calibre, and we are literally told what the characters are feeling rather than shown, inexcusable in a film with over a two hour run time.
Slow-paced family drama a mixed bag
'Here and There/Aquí y allá' does not consider politics, border polemics, cartels or global recession but, rather, is an unshrill rumination on family, love and hope.
An understated but effective study of the problems faced by an "illegal" returning to his village in Mexico and an implicit argument against the brutality of North American nativism, under both Bush and Obama.
An excessively formalistic approach does Antonio Méndez Esparza little favours in his bloated, flavourless feature debut.
Here and There is as studiously unself-dramatizing as its subject, whose signature song, which functions as the movie's theme, includes the refrain, "I just want to be humble with real people.
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