Bread And Roses (2000)

KEN LOACH

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  /////, 2000.  , , , , , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 2000

Adrien Brody in Bread and Roses.

Ken Loach takes his powerful investigations of the plight of the striving classes to Los Angeles, where an undocumented Mexican woman has made her way to live with her sister to look for work.  Getting a job as a janitor at her sister Rosa’s building, Maya () has to deal with her unkind boss () and suffer the same indignities as her colleagues until a charismatic activist () shows up with a dangerous proposition.  A number of buildings in the city are staffed by unionized workers and he wants theirs to become one of them, something that the management do their best to quash, inspiring an increasing solidarity amongst the employees that eventually leads to extreme measures and the devastating consequences that follow.  As is often the case with Loach and his dedicated screenwriter Paul Laverty, the film is a hard-hitting look at the world’s injustices within the narrative of a fairy tale, which in this case has a hard-time finding its balance thanks to fewer scenes of harsh reality (like ‘s entire excellent performance as Rosa, culminating in an unforgettable scene of confession) than there are far-fetched sequences of success (like Maya’s escape from greedy coyotes at the beginning).  Loach couldn’t make a boring film if he wanted to, so even if this one plays like a less intelligent El Norte or Norma Rae, it’s still compelling to watch, and Brody’s charisma is always a wonderful presence on screen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s