Bella (PG)

This made the top ten of Christianity Today’s most redeeming films of 2007. And it’s a quiet little indie flick that tells an engaging story about how our lives can be changed —dramatically, even tragically — in an instant, but that our subsequent choices can make all the difference in the world.

When José, a chef at a Mexican restaurant inManhattan, learns that one of the waitresses, Nina, is pregnant, he shows concern, particularly when his brother fires her for being late.

José then leaves the restaurant with Nina and they connect by listening to one another’s dreams, hopes and hurts as they wander throughNew York, eventually ending up at José’s parents home.

With Nina facing the prospect of being a single mother, Eduardo’s compassion kicks into high gear and sets in a motion a series of choices for both of them that proves to be life-changing.

First-time director/screenwriter Alejandro Monteverde calls it a “love story without the romance” and that’s an apt description of a movie that celebrates life, love, family, and friendship as well as the power of forgiveness and compassion.

Adrian Drayton

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