Bella

This is a movie review:

The name Bella means beautiful.

As one watches this movie they find two characters whose lives are anything but beautiful. First, there is Jose is a scruffy character that hasn’t been the same since a tragic accident that ended his promising soccer career. He becomes the head chef at his brother’s fancy restaurant. People worry about Jose—especially his family.

Second, there is Nina, she is a waitress at that same restaurant. She is young, unmarried and discovers she is with child, but does not want to be pregnant. Her morning sickness and consecutive late arrivals to work get her fired. No one worries about Nina—except Jose.

Jose is drawn to the troubled woman and offers his help. She doesn’t want his help at first. Nina has decided that if her life is ever going to be normal again she must abort her little girl.

The movie follows these two characters one damaged by the past and the other afraid of the future. Beyond friendship and caring for others, abortion and adoption are the two big themes in Bella. It is interesting to note that the Bible talks a lot about adoption. Without a relationship with Christ we are all orphans without a Father. One of the most comforting passages is when Jesus promises, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [Jn.14:18] He will never leave us or forsake us as a Father. And when we come to Him He adopts us into His family for all eternity [Romans 8:15-17; Gal.4:5],

True, there are no direct mentions of God in the movie, but one is given the strong impression that Nina is struggling with not just a physical and emotional decision, but also a spiritual one. At one point in Jose and Nina’s discussions about the baby, she asks him, “Do you think this is all there is?” Jose says, “My grandmother used to say, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.'” And as they walk the street of New York City they meet a blind man who’s sign reads, “God closed my eyes. Now I can see.”

Bella is an intelligent film that reminds one that you can be impacted by another person’s life, even save, by love and time.  There are threads of grace, faith, redemption and the sanctity of life woven into the fabric of the movie. The cast is not constructed with A-list stars or built on a multi-million dollar budget. Eduardo Verástegui, who is Jose and producer of the film, realizes his film will not bust box office numbers, but stated,

“This film is for the Ninas of the world. This film is not for the people who already agree that life is personal and has dignity. I want to touch the girls who come from broken families who don’t know anything about all these important issues—and next thing you know they find themselves pregnant and they think it’s fine to just go and have an abortion because that is what they have been taught. I want to reach them and embrace them and love them through the film and then by that they can choose what is best for them, which is to have their baby.”

In the end of this movie we truly see how beautiful life is.

I recommend Bella for any occasion.

3:10 to Yuma

This is a movie review:

This is a remake of a 1957 Western.

Dan Evans (Christian Bale), is just a man trying to make a life for his family. His life is one step away from crumbling to nothing: He’s down a leg, his son Mark suffers from chronic respiratory problems, his ranch and only source of income has become a desert from lack of rain, and then the banker who owns the note on his property is seeking to make a buck by repossessing and selling it to the railroad. Reacting to his difficult situation, Dan says, “I’ve been standing on one leg for three damn years waiting for God to do me a favor and He ain’t listening.”

Dan Evans is no hero, just an ordinary Joe. He is what he is, no frills. He simple speaks what he thinks and does not manipulate.

Then there is Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), who plays the best outlaw I have ever seen. He is the kind of guy you love to hate, but there is something mysteriously interesting about him. He is Bible thumping creep with a Messiah-complex, and who has named his gun “the hand of God”. He kills anyone who stands between him and the riches he seeks, and even kills people as a hobby. A unique side note: his mom at a train station as a child abandoned him, and interestingly enough she told him to read the Bible.

One day Ben comes across Dan Evans’ herd of cattle while seeking to rob a banker coach. Dan becomes instrumental in Ben’s arrest and volunteers to help deliver him to Contention, Arizona, where he will be put on the prison train to Yuma at 3:10pm. Dan does this all for $200 to save his ranch and gain the respect of his wife and son. He is willing to risk his life for what he loves.

While on the journey to Contention it is just that, contention. Ben does everything he can to outsmart his captors. This is when Dan becomes an ordinary hero. Dan and Ben have multiple interactions on the journey. Dan’s humble ways shoot down the pride of Ben Wade. We learn that Dan’s life is built to be a hero to his children, and a man of honor to his wife. These are all things Ben learns to admire: fatherhood, humility, and character.

I recommend 3:10 to Yuma for adult audiences because of the violence and language.