Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind (2014)

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Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind: Directed by Richie Adams. With Joaquim de Almeida, Aunjanue Ellis, Bill Cobbs, Ruth Negga. A story about a beautiful street musician suffering from memory loss and a disheartened neuroscientist intent on helping her, bringing together the city of New Orleans and the jazz that made it famous.

“This is my first review, mainly because there arenu0026#39;t any others to help people out yet, so donu0026#39;t expect an expert film critique here.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI was in the mood for a drama and this was on Netflix. I work with dementia patients as a living so thought I would give it a shot.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe synopsis pretty much sums it up – a doctor (Joaquim de Almeida) loses his mom to Alzheimers and then tries to help another woman (Aunjanue Ellis) suffering from the same disease.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOn the good side, the actors did a great job. Every one of them were believable in their part, whether or not you could actually get into their character development – if there even was any. The music was brilliant, throwing New Orleans jazz continuously into the mix. Una Vida and Stompleg (Bill Cobbs) spend a lot of time singing and playing their own tunes, which actually makes you forget the movie is dragging.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAnd thatu0026#39;s the biggest problem. This was a good movie, but very slow. It dragged itself on for a lot longer than it should have. Itu0026#39;s more on the artsy side, with too much time spent getting the perfect shot than spent writing it. The plot was so vague I wasnu0026#39;t sure it even had one until halfway through. So little dialogue is spoken at times that you question everyoneu0026#39;s motives, such as the doctoru0026#39;s empathy towards Una Vida, which comes off as creepy infatuation. I spent the first half of the movie waiting for him to reach over and kiss her! The cinematography was beautiful, but even though a picture tells a 1000 words, an extra line of dialogue squeezed into the movie can change oneu0026#39;s whole view. Then again, a single line spoken near the beginning is supposed to sum up Jessicau0026#39;s (Ruth Negga) attitude, which was really annoying at times.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOverall, the movie would have been great if the writing was better, at least in my opinion. There was very little focus on Alzheimers so donu0026#39;t be expecting any profound breakthroughs.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFor those that like these kind of movies, I can see where they would enjoy it, and really, it wasnu0026#39;t that bad – good music, heartfelt moments, beautiful scenery, great acting – but I think a lot of people will get bored and turn it off.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI rated 7/10, partly because Iu0026#39;m easily pleased and probably rate higher than I should, but also because once you get past some poor writing and a sore thumb from hitting the fast-forward button, the movie isnu0026#39;t that bad.”


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