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Review: 'August Evening'

Affecting drama about an undocumented farmworker and his widowed daughter-in-law trying to make ends meet.

By Peter Rainer / September 6, 2008



"August Evening" is rambling, diffuse, and at times so "sensitive" it makes your teeth hurt. And yet it's also intermittently quite affecting. Jaime (Pedro Castaneda) is an undocumented farmworker in Texas who finds himself living with his widowed daughter-in-law Lupe (Veronica Loren) as they attempt to make ends meet. Lupe is a shy beauty with no interest in remarrying, much to the consternation of Jaime. He knows her life, if not his, would be better if she was off raising a family of her own. The writer-director Chris Eska made "August Evening" for under $40,000 – probably the cost of a crouton on the set of "The Dark Knight." But this is a movie that doesn't need much of a budget. It's all about the actors and about the way their faces tell the story. Castaneda, a nonactor, is not as expressive as he could be, and he looks at least a decade too young for the part. But Loren has an ethereal presence that is, at the same time, indomitable. Grade: B (Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.)

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