May 17, 2008


REVIEW: of Bella: Director: Alejandro Monteverde; Cast: Tammy Blanchard, Eduardo Verasteguil, Manny Perez and Ali Landry (Christian Toto, Pop Matters)

Bella drew headlines last year for its pro-life message, a rarity in modern films not featuring a snarky teen or a Judd Apatow man-child. The ideological battle lines were quickly drawn, distracting us from what a gentle tale Bella has to tell, even if one disagrees with its final judgments. [...]

Where Bella is an unqualified success is in its loving depiction of Latino culture, a true rarity these days. The characters here hail from several different Latin countries, but the lingering image viewers will walk away with is that of Jose’s welcoming home. The food, of course, is front and center here, but so is the familial warmth flowing from Jose back to Nina, a woman the family only knows by name before the action begins. Even Manny, the cruelest character in the film, reveals a tender side in Bella‘s final minutes that makes the viewer reconsider him from the ground up.

Bella captured the Peoples Choice Award at last year’s Toronto’s International Film Festival, and its stark but emotionally pure story makes it clear why it won over the crowd.

...but the fact is that if the film served the cause of abortion its ending would be horrific.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 17, 2008 6:05 AM
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