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The Good Life (2008)
"La buena vida" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  14 August 2008 (Chile)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 352 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 7 critic

In the city of Santiago, four characters struggle to reach their goals: a psychologist who wants to help other women and save their lives, a hairdresser who wants to buy a car, a musician ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aline Küppenheim ...
Teresa
Roberto Farías ...
Edmundo
...
Mario
Paula Sotelo ...
Patricia
Alfredo Castro ...
Jorge
Manuela Martelli ...
Paula
Francisco Acuña ...
Lucas
Manuela Oyarzún ...
Esmeralda
Hernán Lacalle ...
Ramón
Carolina Correa ...
Rita López
Aldo Parodi ...
Pablo
Marcial Edwards ...
Agustín Letelier
Hugo Medina ...
Pepe
Francisca Rojo ...
Cemetery Worker
Bélgica Castro ...
Leonor
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Storyline

In the city of Santiago, four characters struggle to reach their goals: a psychologist who wants to help other women and save their lives, a hairdresser who wants to buy a car, a musician who wants to play in a philharmonic orchestra, and a young woman who simply survives in the city, but each of them obtains something unexpected and different from what they wanted. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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14 August 2008 (Chile)  »

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The Good Life  »

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Para el final
Written and Performed by Chinoy
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User Reviews

 
The good life
11 December 2008 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

We have long admired Chilean director Andres Wood. Having seen his "Historias del futbol" and "La fiebre del loco", we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of his new film "La buena vida". Co-written for the screen by Rodrigo Bazaes and Mamoun Hassan, this film follows in the favorite narrative of a lot of Latin American creators, most notably Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and his long time collaborator, Guillermo Arriaga.

Supposedly, this film is based, loosely, one would suspect, in real stories. We are taken to meet a few people in Santiago that have nothing to do with one another, much less, know anyone of the other characters in the story, yet, at some point of the film their lives touch each and everyone of the lives of the people being followed.

As the film opens, we are taken to a class being directed at what appears to be a group of prostitutes where they are shown how to avoid being exposed to AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases. Teresa, the therapist, needs all the help she can get; unknown to her, her teen age daughter is pregnant. Her estranged husband is fond of visiting places where encounters can be easily arranged by the same women Teresa is trying to teach safe sex.

The next story centers around a male beautician, Edmundo, who at the start of the movie goes to ask for a loan. Esmeralda, the lending officer, tells him in no uncertain terms he has no chances in what he wants to secure because he has no collateral. Esmeralda, who feels attracted to the man, becomes involved in an affair with Edmundo that seems to go nowhere. Edmundo, who wants to convince his mother to help him financially, gets no help from anyone. Eventually, Esmeralda realizes he is not the man for her.

The third narrative involves a talented clarinetist, Mario, who goes for an audition with the Philharmonic. His performance is rudely interrupted by the judges, who don't seem to pay attention to the musicians they are supposed to rate. Mario's most treasured possession is the clarinet his girlfriend gave him as a gift and which he takes to all important dates. When the orchestra position doesn't materialize, Mario applies, and gets a position with the police band.

The last and most eluding story involves a woman who is obviously a prostitute who is seen with a young child. She appears to be sick. She cuts a tragic figure snubbed by other street workers because of her appearance.

What Andres Wood has accomplished is excellent performances from all the principals. Aline Kuppenheim, stands out as the tormented Teresa. She gives a nuanced performance. Eduardo Paxeco makes a valuable contribution as the taciturn Mario, who knows that in spite of having a great talent, he is ignored by the people that can help him. Roberto Farias is seen as Edmundo, in a role that was tailor-made to show his abilities.

"La buena vida" is highly recommended for lovers of good cinema thanks to the work of Andres Wood, its director.


17 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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