A handsome Mexican soccer star whose career was cut short by tragedy finds solace with a pregnant waitress in this sensitive, transcendent film set in New York, that won the People's Choice at Toronto.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Handsome, dapper Jose (charismatic Eduardo Verástegui) was a young Mexican soccer star on his way to a major career in the US when his career was cut short by tragedy. A few years later, he's a taciturn, shaggy-haired chef in his brother Manny's restaurant who witnesses the callous firing of pregnant waitress Nina (Tammy Blanchard, in a searing, star-making performance) when she turns up late for work. Sensing a soul in need of solace, or perhaps a chance for his own redemption, Jose bails from his shift to follow Nina and offer whatever comfort his companionship might provide. Over the course of their day together in New York, including a visit to Jose's colourful New Jersey family home, Nina and Jose fall into an easy confidentiality, sharing their hopes, fears and – most potently – a series of increasingly personal revelations, including the truth about Jose's painful past. This modest, sensitive, transcendent film captured the hearts and minds of audiences at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival to win the coveted People's Choice award.