Saturday, September 27, 2008


I saw another good movie, Bella. It wasn’t until the movie was all over and I was putting the DVD back in its sleeve that the title of the movie clicked. ‘Oh—Bella!’ I thought as the light in my mental attic finally flashed on. (It seems like that light’s bulb is getting dimmer as time passes. What used to be a three-way 1500-watt floodlight is now a flickering 40-watt.)

I didn’t know if Tom would like Bella because in a stretch, it might have been a chick movie. But it wasn’t. It was a movie about friendship and sacrifice and tough lives with tough breaks and flashbacks and pain and family and Mexicans and Puerto Ricans—just gritty enough so that even Tom liked it.

After I had seen it, I read that the movie had won an award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2007. The director was a 29-year-old Mexican making his very first film. So it’s kind of a neighborhood project—our Southern neighbors provided the talent, our Northern neighbors recognized the talent, and we Americans in the middle declared it the #1 film of 2007 in a New York Times poll. Bella was a North American love fest—and we liked it, too.

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