“Under The Same Moon” – Joanna Langfield reviews

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Director Patricia Riggen makes an auspicious feature film debut with this hot button drama that’s 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 today’s 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 Villalobos’s 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 hero’s actions. And then, of course, there is the politics of the thing. While we all know who we’re 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.

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Joanna Langfield (Archived Contributor)

Her voice is heard throughout the 50 states and around the world by more than one million listeners on her syndicated radio programs: Joanna Langfield’s People Report and Video and Movie Minute. She’s also seen and heard as a regular contributing commentator on CNN International, CNN, Fox News and CNBC. In print, her articles have been published in such high profile magazines as Video Review and McCall’s. Joanna Langfield is known for taking interviews to another level with probing looks at celebrities’ insights rather than just their latest projects. As a result, she’s secured a niche among the nation’s premier interviewers and movie critics. Joanna began her career on the production staff of a local Boston television station. She then focused her energies towards radio and produced talk shows at WMEX-AM in Boston. After moving to New York, she became executive producer at WMCA-AM for talk show personalities Barry Gray and Sally Jessy Raphael. She began hosting a one-minute movie review spot which, in turn, led to her top-rated weekend call in-show, The Joanna Langfield Show (1980-83). Joanna moved to WABC-AM to host The Joanna Langfield Show on Saturday nights from 9:00pm to midnight. It was the highest rated show in its time slot. From 1987-1989, Joanna hosted Today’s People on the ABC Radio network, which was fed daily to over 300 stations around the country. She also appeared on WABC-TV as a regular on-air contributor. In 1989, Joanna formed her radio production company, Joanna Langfield Entertainment Reports, to syndicate her radio reports. She is considered to be one of the top authoritative commentators on the entertainment industry. Read Lagfield's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "Joanna Langfield" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).