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

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August 5, 2019
The reflection of daily life is achieved through a smart handling of narrative tools, building an artifice that seems random but it's measured to create the sense of credibility. [Full Review in Spanish]
January 19, 2019
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.
January 18, 2019
Because Esparza's a dramatist, not a melodramatist, the experience of watching "Life and Nothing More" becomes truth, and nothing less.
January 4, 2019
A lot of it could pass for a documentary, until upon reflection you realize how carefully Esparza's set up his story beats.
December 15, 2018
A powerful, potent and poignant look at race, class and family in today's America, director Esparza has crafted a superlative, naturalistic drama
November 29, 2018
An unvarnished cinema verité look at a family dealing with some hard knocks.
November 7, 2018
Esparza's vision of motherhood, as a fortress whose foundations must hold even on the shakiest of grounds, pulls us into a soaring emotional tide, and keeps us entranced, marveling at Williams's talent and charm as a non-professional actor.
November 5, 2018
Minimalist, economical storytelling has rarely felt so full-bodied.
October 27, 2018
Sharply observed and quietly powerful, this intimate glimpse into a cycle of juvenile delinquency and socioeconomic despair achieves a gut-wrenching emotional resonance.
Top Critic
October 26, 2018
Unsweetened by any score and unwilling to supply an emotional payoff, the film sometimes plays more like anthropology than cinema.
October 26, 2018
In its final minutes, Life and Nothing More articulates that it's an act of no small bravery to look in the face the very thing you have been running from, ready to be heard but also to hear.
October 26, 2018
Life and Nothing More both captures an American reality and pulls it apart to make a point, without dishonoring the people whose lives it's based on.
October 26, 2018
One of the year's most essential films.
October 25, 2018
A neo-realist treatment of Black life that suggests how Africans endure conditions not unlike the postwar Italy that inspired De Sica et al.
October 24, 2018
Emotionally generous, volatile, and scrupulously honest, Williams's performance is as extraordinary as the precisely controlled film in which she is the cherished centerpiece.
October 24, 2018
Esparza is a sublime directorial talent, possessing a fascinatingly subtle command of his medium with a desire to capture the oft-discarded aspects of life, seemingly pursuing a deeper honesty in the parts of ourselves we choose to ignore regularly.
October 24, 2018
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.
October 24, 2018
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.
October 24, 2018
The movie works by stringing together many small observations to develop a portrait more quiet and revealing than many overwrought films that strain to address hot-button issues.
October 23, 2018
It's a vital, singularly crafted film that simply tells it... like it is through the eyes of a struggling African American single mother and the adolescent son she desperately wants to keep out of trouble against the mounting odds.
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