3 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 110 minutes
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Ken Loach, that champion of the British working class, turns his attention to the voiceless masses in America for the first time–with mixed results. The focus of this drama are Los Angeles immigrant janitors, namely Latina sisters Maya (Pilar Padilla) and Rosa (Elpidia Carrillo). The younger Maya, recently arrived from Mexico, soon hooks up with the charismatic Sam (Adrien Brody) and his movement to unionize the city’s janitors, much to Rosa’s dismay. The complex, mercurial Maya/Rosa relationship resonates, thanks to the terrific work by Padilla and especially Carrillo; unfortunately, this involving story is lost under an unconvincing romantic subplot between Maya and a college-bound janitor (Alonso Chavez) and the overall preachiness of Loach and writer Paul Laverty’s approach to the “Justice for Janitors” issue.

Posted on May 11, 2001 in Reviews by

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