This was an obscure purchase that I got with a B & N gift certificate last night. I had seen the trailer from a rental DVD awhile back and heard about it from artsy movie watchers but didn't think too much about it. Honestly I figured it would be a sell back once I bought it. A pretty good deal...gift certificate to see a movie you have never seen and can't rent and cash back once you've seen it.
To put it bluntly I was blown away by the movie. Once again I think I might becoming a softy but this movie pressed and pushed my emotions into a wierd ball of unstable mush.
The story follows a Czech immigrant as she tries to survive in the factory working district of the US of A. She has a hereditary disease that is causing her to go blind at an increasing rate. This being applied to a heavy machine operating working environment has its obviuos stressful movie watching outcomes. Her 12 year old son is also going through the first stages of this disease but he is unaware of the disease in his mother or himself. All the money she makes after rent and food goes to a cookie box behind the ironing board.
BUT..the money is stolen and her sight leaves. The rest of the movie is a gut wrenching tale of betrayal, murder, and execution, sprinkled with determination, fearlessness and motherly sacrifice all through a desperate blind mother whose favorite thing in the land of the seeing is Hollywood musicals.
The only thing that might detour you as a viewer is the musical aspect of the movie. When things get overbearing she retreats to her Brazil(watch the movie Brazil and you will know what I am talking about)where everything is a musical. Basically she likes to pretend she is in a musical that plays out in her head while the bad thing in our world is happening around her.
Alright, you probably just rolled your eyes. But let me tell you that my father and I lead the revolt against the unrealistically slow, why are they breaking out in song movies. This did not bother me one bit. Trust me.