Demian Bichir builds Oscars buzz for ‘A Better Life’

Acclaimed Mexican actor Demián Bichir sat down with Gold Derby senior editors Chris Beachum and Rob Licuria to talk about his latest film “A Better Life,” in which he plays undocumented immigrant worker Carlos Galindo, struggling against the odds to build a better life for his son.

Demián Bichir won the Ariel — the Mexican version of the Oscars — for Best Actor and is best known in the US for his role as Esteban Reyes on the Showtime series “Weeds” and his acclaimed portrayal of a young Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh‘s “Che” opposite Benicio Del Toro. Now, with the critical praise for his performance in “A Better Life,” he is in contention at the Academy Awards. 

Summit Entertainment has thrown its support behind the film and Bichir’s performance, being first out of the gate to send out all-important screeners to Oscar voters in mid-September. In recent years, this campaign strategy reaped Oscar bids for other standout performances in smaller independent films: Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” and Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom,” whose film was the first screener delivered to voters last year.

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The reviews have been universally positive for Demián. “Bichir delivers a powerful, nuanced performance as a stoic but complex character who treats everyone – even those who have wronged him – with a dignity he rarely receives,” raved Jennie Punter (Toronto Globe and Mail). Ann Hornaday (Washington Post) named Bichir’s performance as one of the most powerful of the year, while Carrie Rickey (Philadelphia Inquirer) called Demián’s performance “modest and as epic as the movie he’s in” and Steve Persall (St Petersburg Times) raved that this, “is a masterfully understated performance that should be remembered during awards season.”

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