|Bread & Roses|
Pilar Padilla, Adrien Brody, Elpidia Carrillo
Widescreen; in English and Spanish with English subtitles.
|For his first movie with an American setting, British social-realist director Ken Loach grapples with the subject of a labor dispute involving janitors in a Los Angeles high-rise office building. The drama is built around the travails of Maya (Pilar Padilla), a young Mexican woman who sneaks across the border to the United States. She joins her sister Rosa (Elpidia Carrillo of "Salvador") on the janitorial staff, only to encounter an abusive work environment. But a union organizer (Adrien Brody of "Summer of Sam") is on the case, stirring up the employees and inspiring Maya's affections. It's a tribute to Loach's expertise and the strength of his actors, including a number of non-professionals, that the production has the air of a documentary. Even though there are no easy answers here, this is believable and unsettling in its harsh examination of working-class struggles.|