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

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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.
October 23, 2018
A slow accumulation of closely observed moments... that add up to something much more nuanced, a portrait of lives that can't be reduced to statistics.
October 22, 2018
Wants to be a window where no part is unsmudged or unnecessarily ornamented, and the view is remarkable for showing what you rarely see in two movie hours: a respect for the naturally compelling immediacy of the everyday struggle.
October 21, 2018
Antonio Méndez Esparza crafts a revealing portrait of life as lived under a regime of race and class oppression.
October 18, 2018
By letting the cast improvise their reactions through the lens of their experiences, Esparza finds truth instead.
October 12, 2018
While Esparza's exploration of the passive aggressiveness of white privilege is blisteringly good, he stitches these everyday prejudices into the broader landscape of their lives and his film is richer for it.
October 12, 2018
[Regina Williams] gives a sincere, unadorned, and immensely powerful performance that makes room for all kinds of moments, big or small.
March 23, 2018
This is Mr. Esparza's second feature and first English-language film. He has a deep, penetrating vision and an admirable aversion to sentimentality.
February 8, 2018
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.
February 8, 2018
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.
February 8, 2018
By casting "real people", and not professional actors, there are moments when the dialogue seems unscripted, because it is so natural. Esparza has created a film that is almost more documentary than fiction.
February 8, 2018
[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.
December 4, 2017
Complex, painful and beautiful. [Full Review in Spanish]
December 4, 2017
A rich, organic and transparent work. [Full Review in Spanish]
December 4, 2017
The goal is not to record the obvious, what is seen, but to understand the most intimate and final sense on each action. [Full Review in Spanish]
November 28, 2017
There is no strangeness in the look that the filmmaker imposes or a willingness to portray singularities or shocks, but a distance of respect from someone who believes that cinema is capable of capturing moments of life. [Full review in Spanish]
November 16, 2017
Its characters feel genuine and lived-in, each with a good heart at their core yet molded into more aggressive, abrasive people by an environment that's unforgiving in its cruelty and indifference.
October 11, 2017
... pure convention made explicit by a flat, powerless and exhausted direction... [Full review in Spanish]
September 13, 2017
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.
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