Review: Life and Nothing More


Title: Life and Nothing More
Rating: NR
Director: Antonio Mendez Esparza
Starring: Andrew Bleechington, Regina Williams, Robert Williams
Runtime: 1 hr 54 mins

What It Is: A realistic take at inner-city life, this family drama takes a close look at a fourteen-year-old boy, Andrew (Bleechington) and his mother Regina (Regina Williams) as they struggle with surviving complications in relationships and financial strife. When Regina finds a new partner in the stead of Andrew’s incarcerated father, Andrew rebels in protest and begins falls into trouble. 

What We Think: Something I can say certainly of this film, that any audience member and critic can say of this film, is of its ability to achieve absolute realism through the acting and setting. It is documentary-like; portrait-like, utilizing neo-realist/mumblecore methods such as jump-cutting and what appears to be improvisation. The writing: naturalistic. You fall into it quickly. It’s as if what we’re watching is actually happening. And, in a way, it has—is. It’s an outstanding imitation of a family, like many others, enduring this economy, this political state of the country, this lack of reward to living. Which should be said—this is a film that, in its apparently objective presentation on a tired mother and son, explores futility and frighteningly relatable circumstances. It’s disheartening and poignant, though maybe a tad slow for mainstream audiences, nearly reaching the 2-hour mark.

Our Grade: B, Despite the duration and slower pacing, I still believe this film succeeds in its demands to be relevant, an important reflection on how our country’s socio-economic status effect families in big and small ways. For that, I thank this film. It’s worth seeing to gain and give perspective. It is simple, to the point, well-shot, and well acted.

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