August 23 Screening
When: Saturday August 23, 6:30 pm
Language: English and Spanish
Where: Lawrence Academy
Conant Gallery and Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center
Lowell Road, Groton, Massachusetts 01450
Parking: Please see this map.
Cost: Admission is free for members. Non-members can purchase a one-day membership at the door for $12 per person, which includes admission to the receptions, screening, and speaker presentation (if any). For details please see our membership page.
“Bella” is a beautiful and haunting story that unfolds one day in the life of two damaged souls in New York, a day that propels them both separately to move on from their separate stuck places: his a past event and hers a life-changing decision. This “love story beyond romance” emphasizes the power of love and, especially, of family to heal life’s wounds. It is told in a flashback within a flashback, framed by the protagonist Jose’s words: “My grandmother used to say, ‘You want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.’”
The film won the People’s Choice Award at the Totonto Film Festival in 2006. It was awarded a Smithsonian Institution Legacy Award in 2007 — this award honors role models who have made a significant impact on American culture and society through their art.
Roger Ebert calls the movie:
“…a heart-tugger with the confidence not to tug too hard. It stars an actor named Eduardo Verastegui, who I would describe as the next Antonio Banderas if I ever wrote cliches like that, which I do not.”
A review by the AFI Dallas film festival says:
Bella is really not so much a love story (in the sense of two people falling head over heels) as it is a story about love and how it can heal psychic wounds and enrich our lives.
This film has a larger-than-usual split in opinion between critics and ordinary viewers. For example, on the film-review site Rotten Tomatoes, “Bella” enjoys a rating of 95/100 among the site’s members, but only 47/100 among its group of selected reviewers, which includes a good proportion of newspaper and magazine critics. This split may speak to the film’s generally positive and uplifting tone, at odds with what the industry currently seems to favor.
“Bella” is a true indepenent film made on a shoestring budget in 26 days of shooting in New York and New Jersey. It is a labor of love by its writer-director, Alejandro Monteverde, and producer-star, Eduardo Verastegui. It ran in theaters for 8 months following its award-winning debut at the Totonto Film Festival, and has so far grossed $13M.