"The movie and its makers all deserve their bread and roses."
“Bread and Roses” was among the higher regarded movies at this year’s San Diego Latino Film Festival (along with “Amores Perros”) and although I skipped it there in order to see some more obscure movies, I knew I would catch this during its regular theatrical run.More socioeconomically intermediary than “Salt of the Earth,” “Bread and Roses” takes the real-life inspirational story of immigrant workers’ triumph against a fat-cat labor company in Los Angeles. British director Ken Loach acknowledges that while the characters are fictional, the events are all true. The well-crafted film has a certain urgency and vehemence that it uses to tell the events and explain the characters’ situations, and the fact that it is coming from an “outsider,” sobers up the idea of any biases, but it also serves as a surprise of its own. The cast has a strong chemistry that solidifies as the movie progresses, and the scenes between Maya (Pilar Padilla) and Rosa (Elpidia Carrillo) strike a deep resonance and effectiveness, particularly as you learn more about their personal and familial situations. The only element that felt out of place and over-played aside from some typical melodrama, is the romance that develops between Maya and Sam (Adrien Brody). The cleaning scenes and friendly bonds that take place on the work site are all contributors to the movie’s own personality. Padilla and Carrillo are excellent finds!