Better Life, A (2011): Chris Weitz Timely Immigrants Melodrama, Starring Demian Bichir in Oscar-Nominated Performance

Directed by Chris Weitz, A Better Life was scripted by Eric Eason, based on Roger L. Simon, is a timely crime melodrama about an illegal immigrant and his son, searching for their stolen truck.

The film, which was a commercial flop, is mostly known for offering an Oscar nominated role to actor Demian Bichir.

Bichir plays Carlos Galindo, a gardener working in L.A. with his partner, Blasco, supporting his son Luis, who is a high school student.  Luis’ girlfriend is connected to gang members, who pressures the boy to join them. Luis was once suspended for assaulting another student.

Carlos’ sister Anita lends $12,000 from the family’s emergency fund for him to buy Blasco’s truck. It is later stolen by Santiago, whom Carlos hired. Carlos and Luis then head to South Central, where many undocumented immigrant workers reside.

In the end, they successfully retrieve the truck but are stopped by the police, which arrest the father and throws him into jail. In prison, father and son reconciles, and Carlos promises to return after deportation.