A gardener in East L.A. struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while also trying to give him the opportunities he never had. [imdb]
Nominated for 1 Oscar:
Best Actor: Demian Bichir
What a waste of a nomination! And more importantly - I think I even tweeted it: I can't believe the movies I see for Oscar! And that's because I try to see all the nominees from all the feature film categories. And given that Best Actor is such an important one, I couldn't miss this. But I swear, it was painful to get through. All the cliches are there; and it's bad even for a TV movie.
It's predictable, with poor writing and it creates these supporting character that are embarassingly written and even more tragic: embarassingly acted. The casting hurts, i don't think they could've found least talented teenagers; the leading kid is ok-ish, but the rest of the gang made my eyes roll till I fainted. :D
Demian Bichir gives a good performance, but NOT one that would become worthy of a nomination. He gets a more emotional scene towards the end, but that's just about it: it's true, the screenplay doesn't help much, but I am surprised that some voters actually had him as their number one choice (and moreso, that they saw A Better Life to begin with, and not Shame or other indie films).
My rating for the film: 3.5/10. The film tells a predictable story that didn't need to be told.