Dir: Alejandro Chomski (Feel the Noise, Today and Tomorrow)
Cast: Angela Sarafyan, Jesse Garcia, Bai Ling, Debi Mazar, Dana Delany
Reason to see: Has the unlikely friendship with strong indie vibe to it
A Beautiful Life is a film which the title indicates the hope of the characters within it, characters who all face complicated challenges from no easy or clear solution lies.
We are introduced to Maggie (Angela Sarafyan), who has run away from home and turned to the streets, although it's clear she's not street savvy she is very persistant and worms here way under the wings of stripper Esther (Bai Ling) and bus boy David (Jesse Garcia). The three become an unlikely trio of friends in a time where all are more than a little fragile, so much so that dreams of a normal, and beautiful, life feel so out of reach although constantly on their minds. You can easily sense that all have troubled and unspoken pasts, and when they do try to express it it's often darker, messier and more complicated that expected.
A Beautiful Life often has the feeling of a play, with the small cast, big emotional arcs and limited locations. I liked how they don't shy away from the complicated reactions that dark histories can take people, which means as a viewer we can face trying scenarios and uncomfortable places. I found the stories compelling and I was genuinely invested in the characters and their journeys. The beauty lies strongly in the spirit of those characters and the bravery and their ability to continually reach out and connect with each other, and with the audience.
Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it to drama fans
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© Shannon Ridler, 2011