Writer/director Chris Weitz sat down with Gold Derby senior editors Chris Beachum and Rob Licuria to talk about his latest film “A Better Life,” described as a poignant, multi-generational story about a an illegal immigrant worker struggling against the odds to build a better life for his son.
Weitz may be best-known for his Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated “About a Boy,” which he co-wrote (with Peter Hedges and his brother Paul Weitz) and co-directed (along with his brother). Since then, he helmed Oscar and BAFTA winner “The Golden Compass” and “New Moon,” the second film in the “Twilight Saga” franchise. With “A Better Life, he has delivered an intimate look at a misunderstood issue in America at the moment – the plight of the undocumented immigrant worker.
Working from a script by Eric Eason and bringing together such international heavyweights as cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe and four-time Oscar nominee and BAFTA and Golden Globe winning composer Alexandre Desplat, Weitz is hitting the awards circuit in support of this small film and above all to help get the word out on his leading man Demian Bichir‘s performance.
Bichir, a mega-star in Mexico who is only now after decades of being a familiar face in Latin America finally becoming more known in the US, gives a breakthrough performance in the film as Carlos Galindo, the father of a teenage son who works as a gardener in the hope of giving his son the foundations for a better life.
Kirk Honeycutt (The Hollywood Reporter) gave the film a glowing review, proclaiming that by “keeping things simple and understated, director Chris Weitz and screenwriter Eric Eason have crafted a little gem where humanity is observed with compassion, not condescension.” Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) raved succinctly that the movie “will get under your skin.”
Chris discusses the film in depth, as well as highlights from his previous films and his thoughts on being nominated for an Oscar and what he takes into account when voting as a member of the directors and writers branches of the Academy.
Don’t miss important Oscars news and predictions – Get free Gold Derby updates