Try Not to Cry During the Trailer for Twilight: New Moon Director Chris Weitz's A Better Life

Yes, the first 2/3 of the trailer for Chris Weitz's A Better Life play out like a short summary of Vittorio De Sica's classic The Bicycle Thieves, except with a truck. In that film, a poor father and his boy go on a search for their stolen bicycle which the father needs in order to keep his job, which is barely paying the bills as is. Here, the story focuses on an immigrant man and his son hunting for a stolen truck which apparently determines their livelihood. It'd be pretty easy to get cynical and angry about remaking an undisputed classic, except for the fact that just thinking about The Bicycle Thieves brings a tear to my eye, and if this film is as well-done as it looks, well, it will probably also make me cry.

Demian Bichir (Weeds) plays the father here, and his performance in the preview alone is enough to sell me on it. The stakes are a bit more complicated this time, since his son (Jose Julian) is clearly getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, which just adds another reason for the father's unceasing ambition to better their situation.

Weitz, who will be directing the next Twilight movie, has shown an above average knack for navigating emotional and potentially manipulative territory in past films like About a Boy and In Good Company. Though if those films are any indication, things will probably end well in this film after taking the requisite hopeless turns. Given the power of the downbeat endings in most Neo-Realist films, one could justifiably call blasphemy here. But after this trailer, I'm rooting for Bichir. I'm totally okay with the guy getting a happy ending.

Verdict: Sold.


  • KevyB says:

    WHY is Bicycle Thieves considered a classic? It hits the trifecta of BAD acting, BAD directing and BAD writing! Aren't those types of movies usually up for Razzies? I think it's one of those movies that are historically important so nobody dares to denigrate it. Well, I dare! Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssssss!