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2008-11-04 09:09
What it's about:

Nina (Tammy Blanchard) is a young woman in New York who discovers that she is pregnant and is fired from her waitressing job on the same day. Jose (Eduardo Verástegui), the head chef of the restaurant she worked in, takes pity on her and becomes her sole confidant. He helps Nina deal with her uncertain future and opens up about his dark and mysterious past. Together they find strength in each other.

What we thought of it:

Bella is as beautiful as its name implies. It's a gem because of the simplicity of its structure. It deals with a day in the lives of two ordinary people and moves the viewer in the old-fashioned way a good romance should; without the diversion of comedy or twisted neuroticism. It's not a fairy tale, nor a tragedy. It's the story of a romantic epiphany.

The film is about believable characters with realistic problems. There are no red roses or glass slippers. It's an inspiring first-day-of-the-rest-of-their-lives story.

Winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, Bella is the debut film by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gomez Monteverde and it shows off his gift for storytelling. Eduardo Verástegui and Tammy Blanchard's performances are brilliant in their subtlety. Nothing is overdone and yet the complexities of their characters and the subplots surface beautifully. There is passion, there is pain, there is fear and there is comfort – all without even a hint of sex.

Bella fills you with hope; it's not so much the destination but the journey it takes you on that makes it a gem worth admiring.

- Natalie Sineke

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A refreshing story about love, facing demons and allowing every day to be the first of the rest of your life.

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