The morally healthy Bella (2007), by Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, is a charitable failure. It’s unaccepting of abortion–unlike its pregnant main character Nina, well acted by Tammy Blanchard.
Nina doesn’t want the baby inside her, but receives manly compassion and then some from a chef and ex-soccer star called Jose (Eduardo Verastegui). The screenplay, I regret to point out–why did it take three men to write it?–is careless, basically ramshackle. One wonders whether Jose’s accidental killing of a child, wrenching as it is, would actually induce the man to give up a lucrative pro soccer career and become a chef. One wonders, really, how Nina could have been so feckless as to get pregnant by a fellow she cares nothing about. I’m not sure I know what’s going on in Monteverde’s film.
Ostensibly Christian, presumably spiritual, Bella is in truth pseudo-religious. Jose may or may not be a genuine Christ follower; it isn’t clear. The movie is not exactly a Francois Mauriac novel, or even Au Hazard Balthazar. It it were, it would possess a brilliance consistently missing from evangelical fiction films.
On to television: I’ve been watching the first three seasons of the Showtime series, The Tudors, on DVD. The Tudor in question is Henry the Eighth, he with the six wives, of course. Much of the writing by Michael Hirst, the show’s creator, is neither polished nor credible, but it is entertaining and even intelligent. Especially gripping is the second season (far superior to the third), for here a frightening trajectory of suffering and injustice catches up Anne Boleyn (superbly acted by Natalie Dormer) and several other hapless souls.