“Under The Same Moon” – Joanna Langfield reviews
Director Patricia Riggen makes an auspicious feature film debut with this hot button drama thats as warmhearted as the midday sun. Ostensibly a story of the undeniable pull of mother and son, this effecting piece is also a savvy look at the multidimensional realities of illegal immigrants in todays America.
The very beautiful Kate del Castillo stars as a Mexican housekeeper, trying to make ends meet in Los Angeles. Her goal is to, eventually, earn her green card and bring her mother and child, living back home, to southern California. But, when the young boy (the remarkable Adrian Alonso) finds himself suddenly alone, he figures he is smart enough to make his way to his beloved mother, and in time to get there before their regular Sunday morning phone call.
Ligiah Villaloboss script relies on the standard mother/son love story we have seen in many a picture before, but also is smart enough to throw a couple of curves our way. While we are pretty sure all will turn out ok, there are more than a few times we find ourselves caught up in some unexpected twists and turns which make us, too, question the boldness of this young heros actions. And then, of course, there is the politics of the thing. While we all know who were rooting for here, impressively, the plot insists on presenting a picture that is aiming to be fair and balanced, to coin a phrase. While some real Americans are pretty awful, so, too are some of the Mexicans. And everyone, it turns out, has their own reasons for their behavior, as we are all, it seems, struggling to do the best we can, under the same moon.