Life and Nothing More

New York Times Critics' Pick
114 mins.
Directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza
NR
2018

In his remarkable second feature, Spanish-born filmmaker Antonio Méndez Esparza follows-up his debut drama Aquí y allá with another sensitive portrait of a struggling family.

Stressed by her job in a diner, single mother Regina (Regina Williams) is raising her two children in northern Florida. When her 14-year-old son Andrew (Andrew Bleechington) has another brush with the law, she worries he’ll wind up in prison like his father.

Méndez Esparza employs documentary-style realism in this snapshot of race, class and the bonds of family in contemporary America.

"Describing the trajectory of LIFE AND NOTHING MORE makes it sound like a civics lesson... but the bulk of the movie is more like the reverse: a slow accumulation of closely observed moments — Regina and Robert’s flirting during a pool game; Regina working while election returns play on a TV behind her; Andrew attending an anger management session — that add up to something much more nuanced, a portrait of lives that can’t be reduced to statistics." Ben Kenigsberg. A New York Times Critic's Pick!