102 Min - Drama - 2014-03-28
- Diego Luna,
- Keir Pearson, Timothy J. Sexton,
- Michael Peña, Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera, Jacob Vargas, Gabriel Mann, Lisa Brenner, John Malkovich,
- MX, US
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102 Min Drama 2014-03-28
It's a clear and moving story, although the messier edges of the man have been smoothed out, and some of the victories may have been exaggerated to provide a happier ending.
What Cesar Chavez critically lacks is a unique, complicated, or personal perspective on its world-famous subject. As is often the problem with portraits of influential firebrands, the film never quite sees past the movement to the man leading it.
What the film struggles to depict, committed as it is to the conventions of hagiography, is the long and complex work of organizing people to defend their own interests. You are invited to admire what Cesar Chavez did, but it may be more vital to understand how he did it.
The man was not, by most accounts, pedestrian. In trying to follow so closely in his footsteps, the film, however, is.
The ultimate effect of this film, directed by actor Diego Luna, is curiously cold — it never transcends the hagiographic nature of its material, despite a talented cast and a compelling subject.
It never quite takes off in a stirring, inspirational way, but moves steadily forward in solid fashion.
It’s Pena’s quietly powerful interpretation of Cesar Chavez the man that makes this movie work so well.
Enlivened by a strong cast, Cesar Chavez is a straightforward and inspiring account of a noble man.
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