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Spanglish
     

Spanglish

3.5 12
Director: James L. Brooks

Cast: Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega

 

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The strange tonal shifts in James L. Brooks' Spanglish are addressed obliquely by the director in his commentary track for the DVD release of the film. The fascinating aspect of the commentary is that Brooks does not seem to think there is anything wrong with the film even while he tells stories about how audiences reacted to the movies in ways he found unusual

Overview

The strange tonal shifts in James L. Brooks' Spanglish are addressed obliquely by the director in his commentary track for the DVD release of the film. The fascinating aspect of the commentary is that Brooks does not seem to think there is anything wrong with the film even while he tells stories about how audiences reacted to the movies in ways he found unusual. Brooks also addresses the rumors about the problems between his lead actress and himself. The commentary offers a look at a director who is still a little too close to his film. The film itself is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. Additional supplemental materials include a featurette on the greatest sandwich ever (includes a recipe), footage from the casting sessions, and deleted scenes.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Formidably talented writer-director James L. Brooks (Broadcast News) examines the clash of Anglo and Hispanic cultures in this neatly developed dramedy, which among other things marks the emergence of screen funnyman Adam Sandler as a genuine leading man. He plays celebrity chef John Clasky, the mild-mannered dad in a plush if dysfunctional household run by his batty, insecure wife, Deborah (Tea Leoni). A semblance of order is provided by new maid, Flor Moreno (Paz Vega), an iron-willed single mother who worries that her adolescent daughter, Cristina (Shelbie Bruce), will be seduced by the Claskys’ materialistic lifestyle and lose her traditional values. Brooks manages to bring out the best and worst in his principal characters, who all emerge as fully rounded, complex people rather than convenient stereotypes. He’s particularly adept at depicting a growing rapport between John and Flor that ultimately threatens to complicate their employer-employee relationship. This is a breakout role for Vega, a Spanish actress of unique charm and ability. She represents the collision of passion, beauty, and sex appeal with native intelligence and old-fashioned common sense; her characterization of the proud, determined Flor helps the film immeasurably. Brooks has always delivered works that not only entertain his viewers but also make them think -- a trend Spanglish happily continues.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Spanglish will seem familiar in many ways to those familiar with James L. Brooks' work. The thematic center of the film is the relationship between Flor (Paz Vega) and her daughter. The first 20 minutes of the film sets up their characters and shows how the daughter's command of English helps her Spanish-speaking mother communicate -- communication and miscommunication being the motifs of the film. Brooks establishes the emotional and psychological impasse confronting the low-key John Clasky (Adam Sandler) and the high-strung Deborah Clasky (Téa Leoni), with admirably economic storytelling. The middle part of the film concerns how John and Deborah each deal with the communication problems they have with Flor, their new maid, making it clear that John has more patience and empathy. Brooks has always liked his characters, but Spanglish finds him doing something he has never done before -- passing judgment. Deborah is shown to be a monster who might be redeemable, but her moment of redemption seems too slight. The Clasky story ends on a very small note and is left mostly unresolved. The ending is unsatisfactory for the amount of time we spend with them. Conversely, the highly emotional climax of the story about Flor and her daughter does not fit because the audience's involvement in their story has been hijacked by the Clasky family. Sadly, for a film about the dangers of miscommunication, Brooks ends up suffering a communication breakdown with the audience.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/05/2005
UPC:
0043396048522
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:11:00
Sales rank:
11,416

Special Features

Closed Caption; Director James L. Brooks and crew commentary; 12 deleted scenes with optional commentary; Casting Sessions featurette with optional commentary; How to Make the World's Greatest Sandwich, featuring Thomas Keller of French Laundry; HBO First Look: The Making of Spanglish; DVD-ROM -- Spanglish: The Shooting Script

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Adam Sandler John Clasky
Téa Leoni Deborah Clasky
Paz Vega Flor
Cloris Leachman Evelyn
Shelbie Bruce Cristina
Sarah Steele Bernice
Ian Hyland Georgie
Victoria Luna Cristina (6 years old)
Thomas Haden Church Mike, Realtor
Freddy Soto Manuel

Technical Credits
James L. Brooks Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Julie Ansell Producer
Joan Bradshaw Executive Producer
Mariko Braswell Set Decoration/Design
Lorrie Campbell Set Decoration/Design
Thomas D. Causey Sound/Sound Designer
Shay Cunliffe Costumes/Costume Designer
Cosmas Demetriou Set Decoration/Design
Christy Haubegger Executive Producer
Maria Kavanaugh Associate Producer
Julia Levine Set Decoration/Design
Francine Maisler Co-producer
Richard Marks Co-producer,Editor
Louise Mingenbach Costumes/Costume Designer
Aldric La'Auli Porter Asst. Director,Co-producer
Ida Random Production Designer
Tom Reta Art Director
Richard Sakai Producer
John Seale Cinematographer
Mary Vernieu Casting
Hans Zimmer Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28

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