Life and Nothing More (La Vida y Nada Más) (2017)
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Critic Reviews for Life and Nothing More (La Vida y Nada Más)
[Antonio Mendez] Esparza has done terrific work with his cast of non-pros, and several exchanges - particularly those between Regina and Robert - drip with an engaging realism that can only have been the result of guided improvisation.
The first half is long, languid takes of their cramped apartment, with minimal dialogue. In the second, things speed up, but the abrupt shift from a snail's pace to a flurry of happenings, is jarring.
This is Mr. Esparza's second feature and first English-language film. He has a deep, penetrating vision and an admirable aversion to sentimentality.
If it all sounds melodramatic, [Antonio Mendez] Esparza's rigorously unsentimental approach always pulls back form that brink. The film's style is, like its guarded characters, watchful.
So compellingly directed and acted that for much of the time we could almost be watching a documentary, Life and Nothing More is an involving, quietly moving piece that eschews conventional narrative shape.
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