Life and Nothing More (La Vida y Nada Más)

Critics Consensus

Life and Nothing More collects astutely observed moments from one family's lives to offer a deeply relatable picture of life in modern America.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 39

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 61
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Movie Info

In his remarkable second feature, Spanish-born filmmaker Antonio Méndez Esparza follows-up his debut drama Aquí y allá with another sensitive portrait of a struggling family. Stressed by her job in a diner, single mother Regina (Regina Williams) is raising her two children in northern Florida. When her 14-year-old son Andrew (Andrew Bleechington) has another brush with the law, she worries he'll wind up in prison like his father. Méndez Esparza employs documentary-style realism in this snapshot of race, class and the bonds of family in contemporary America.

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Critic Reviews for Life and Nothing More (La Vida y Nada Más)

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (12)

  • In his vivid depiction of the characters' daily lives, which slowly becomes immersive in spite of the detached camerawork, Méndez Esparza invites us to share in their perspective.

    Jan 18, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Because Esparza's a dramatist, not a melodramatist, the experience of watching "Life and Nothing More" becomes truth, and nothing less.

    Jan 18, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • One of the year's most essential films.

    Oct 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    Peter Debruge

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Unsweetened by any score and unwilling to supply an emotional payoff, the film sometimes plays more like anthropology than cinema.

    Oct 25, 2018 | Full Review…

    Mark Jenkins

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • It's a shame we never get to know Andrew as well as Regina... but it's even more affecting when Andrew's initially passive existence escalates due to white fear, and his mother is left to fight for his chance at life.

    Oct 24, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Persistence is the name of the game, and Esparza's steadfast cast of first-time actors seems to know it in their bones. There isn't a false note between them.

    Oct 24, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

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