Monday, December 27, 2010

Movies You Might Have Missed Mondays

As 2010 comes to a close and 2011 gets started, as people make New Year’s resolutions and commit to leaving the past in its place, I like to think about newness.

A new year inspires hope of possibilities, change for the better, the hope of life.

And that’s what made me think of this next movie, one I’ll bet most of you missed.

It’s called Bella, and it’s an independent film released in 2006. Although it won many awards in its narrow sphere of influence, it wasn’t widely released, so the opportunity to see it was also limited.

Bella is a beautiful drama directed by Mexican filmmaker, Alejandro Gomez Monteverde. Nope, I hadn’t heard of him either. But when his film started winning awards, I noticed. And I’m glad I looked into this story.

It’s a simple plot. Jose works at his brother’s restaurant, somewhat half-heartedly. He’s not disrespectful. It’s just obvious he’s seen things in life that have affected him a little deeper than misplaced napkins and the special of the day, some of the things his brother can’t stop fussing loudly about.

When one girl, Nina, doesn’t show up for work, Jose ignores his brother’s rants and leaves to find out the reason.

As the story unfolds, Nina’s situation is revealed (unplanned pregnancy), which leads to uncovering Jose’s past also (involvement in an accidental death). While their stories don’t have anything to do with each other, they place each in a perfect place to help the other.

Bella tackles a handful of tough issues with such beauty and grace while remaining in the real world of ugly hurts and mistakes, making it relatable and believable. In doing so, it teaches valuable life lessons about sin, repentance, forgiveness, redemption, compassion, charity, relationships, and doing the right thing when tragedy tempts toward giving in to the wrong.

What I love most about this film, though, is its stance on the sanctity of life (perfect for January - the official Sanctity of Life month!). The message is clear, it’s potent, and it’s a picture of love.

In typical indie fashion, Bella runs a little slow. It requires thinking and paying attention as it’s told with precision and tact, taking its time. But the pace is for good purpose, and completely worth the watch.

This celebration of life seems to me a perfect way to ring in a new year, a story of hope, of real lives with real issues, but also with real answers.

If you get the chance, I hope you check out Bella.

How about making the last week of 2010 a good one?

Thanks for starting your week out with me here on Dry Ground!

(photos by


One page at a time said...

I started this one. Can't remember why I didn't finish it. I'll have to put it back in the Netflix queue :)

Great MMM (movies might have missed) choice!

lynnrush said...

Interesting....Haven't heard of it, but sounds intriguing. Hope you had a merry Christmas.