While on a trip to Thailand, a successful American businessman tries to radically change his life. Back in New York, his wife and daughter find their relationship with their live-in Filipino maid changing around them. At the same time, in the Philippines, the maid's family struggles to deal with her absence.
Gael García Bernal,
A motiveless malignancy? Elvis leaves the Navy and heads for Texas where he contacts his father, whom he's never met, the pastor at a Christian community church. Pastor Dave tells Elvis to stay away and, without telling his family that Elvis is his son from a pre-conversion liaison, tells them to have nothing to do with him. But Elvis has already connected with Malerie, the pastor's 16-year old daughter. Elvis embarks on the seduction of Malerie, while Dave examines his conscience and comes to a new conclusion. Can anyone get right with the Lord? Does the Lord hear? Written by
Just saw this film as part of the Seattle International Film Festival and I found it very well made. I go to plenty of festival films and most are truly dreck. This was a nice surprise. While the story goes a couple of steps too far in terms of reality, viewed as old fashioned Greek drama, it was quite exhilarating. The story hits many high points and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering when characters will catch up with the audience. The acting among the principal players was highly consistent with the characters they set up and were actually believable when circumstances became overly dramatic -- even the daughter's actions made some sense when considering her "place" in the family and how much she was actually marginalized by her father. I would also say that Hurt deserves another nomination after the one he got last year for "The History of Violence" (another true gem). Plus, Bernal gives his most convincing performance yet -- very smart of him NOT to play this character in a very obvious way!
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