THE PASSION OF MARIA ELENA (Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez, 2003)

An achingly lovely documentary from Mexico, The Passion of Maria Elena (La Pasión de María Elena) was written and directed by sociologist Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez, who won for it the International Jury Award for best documentary at the 2003 São Paulo International Film Festival. The film also took the prize as best Mexican feature at […]

Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)

Y tu mamá también (And Your Mother, Too) certifies the shallowness of Mexico’s Alfonso Cuarón, whose A Little Princess (1995) suggested promise. (I haven’t seen Cuarón’s 1998 Great Expectations or his 2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.) It is the kind of film I like least: a coarse, manipulative entertainment that is contemptuous […]

21 GRAMS (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2003)

The Mexican film Amores perros (Love’s a Bitch, 2000) employed the gimmick of a horrible traffic accident to orchestrate three overlapping stories whose characters wander in and out of each other’s fractured narrative domain. A middling piece of work, the film nevertheless demanded some legitimate interest because of the riveting acting by heartthrob Gael García […]