Bella, winner of the People's Choice award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, opened in theaters October 26. Brent Bozell III, writing for Townhall:
The makers of "Bella" are different than the average Hollywood moviemakers. They have refused projects they didn't feel were uplifting. Their religious convictions had led to a desire to make redeeming films. Their company is named Metanoia Films, after the Greek word for "conversion" or "repentance." Those are not Hollywood words. But they are words that can resonate all over the Main Streets of America.
So what does Main Street think of "Bella"? Preview audiences repeatedly have given it standing ovations.
In his review for The New York Times, Stephen Holden, calls Bella a "saccharine trifle" and ends his review with this:
If “Bella” (the title doesn’t make sense until the last scene) is a mediocre cup of mush, the response to it suggests how desperate some people are for an urban fairy tale with a happy ending, no matter how ludicrous.
I guess a woman who decides to keep her baby rather than abort it qualifies as a fairy tale in Stephen Holden's world. By the way, Mr. Holden's first paragraph contains an error. Bella won the People's Choice award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, not 2007. Just needed to point that out.
Producer and lead actor Eduardo Verástegui:
...this movie changed my life. It is a love story about a man who had everything. He lost it all, but in losing it all, he found everything that matters in life, which is family and true love and friendship and a lot of beautiful things.
The intent for this film is to promote life and family values. My goal was to make a film that I could invite my mother and my grandmother to and not have to cover their eyes during any scene.
Therefore, my Oscar is when someone tells me, “Your film changed my life.”
Time to go to the movies.
In Birmingham, Bella is showing at the Carmike Summit, today's showtimes can be found here.