Review: Problemista

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Title: Problemista
MPA Rating: R
Director: Julio Torres
Starring: Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, Isabella Rossellini
Runtime: 1 hr 44 mins

What It Is: Young Alejandro (Torres) is trying his very best to make ends meet on his own. When he is fired from his job it isn’t the only thing he loses. You see now Alejandro has to get a job and quick…but he can take money…but he needs money to work towards a visa. You see if he doesn’t get all this done he’s getting sent back to El Salvador (Yes, pupusas!). Now an ex-client of his has stated that she’s willing to properly sponsor him so he can get that visa. But Alejandro still wants his dream job…making toys.

What We Think: Let’s address the giant elephant in the room. Immigration, as it is, in the United States, is a broken mess! My father, if you all didn’t know, immigrated here in 1979 from the same country Alejandro did. The rat race that feels neverending. This film gloriously lampoons the feeling it can give those caught in the system. Torres, for his part, is doing it all here. He’s also doing it all really well. As a director he puts together so many interesting shots. Letting those that need breathe breathe and cutting short the sequences that require a more slight touch. He’s absolutely hilarious in the lead role and he and Tilda Swinton are terrific. The overall package here isn’t perfect but honestly what we do get is a smart and complex comedy that understands what it wants to say and delivers wholly on the message.

Our Grade: A-, I adored this one. It’s another in a grand collection of A24 comedies. It continues a phenomenal run in 2024 for the “indie” studio who just keep on keeping on. I can’t wait to see what the second half of the year has in store. What with festival runs starting soon and all the joy that comes with that! See this. It’s really a real, true immigrant tale. One of struggle that shows just HOW creative we must be to achieve anything in this country when we don’t have that citizenship to hep out!

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