54. Bella (2006) [Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief disturbing images.]
summary from imdb.com:
Sooner or later every one of us will face an irreversible moment that will change our lives forever. If it hasn’t happened to you yet…it will. BELLA is a true love story about how one day in New York City changed three people forever.
directed by: Alejandro Gomez Monteverde
starring: Eduardo Verastegui, Tammy Blanchard, Ali Landry
Tammy Blanchard: I’m pregnant. This is one of the first mornings I haven’t thrown up.
Eduardo Verastegui: Paella is full of the things that you need for a child.
Tammy Blanchard: Who said I was having a child?
Eduardo: You did.
Tammy: No. I said I was pregnant. I’m not ready to have a kid. You have a kid, your freedom’s gone.
Eduardo: Things change.
Tammy: Having a kid isn’t just a change. I don’t think I even like children. I just can’t do it. I’m broke. And alone.
Tammy: I made my decision, okay?
Eduardo: What does the father think?
Tammy: He’s not a father, and he’s not going to be a father. Just like I’m not going to be a mother. Not now.
Nurse: Nina Sharon?
Tammy: He’s all for getting it taken care of. Those are the words he used. As if it were a wisdom tooth to be pulled out. You know, I wonder why kids are always the problem of the mother. Guys aren’t inconvenienced by them. It doesn’t ruin their freedom. And yet they have all this advice. What’s best for me. Well…getting it taken care of is what’s best for me. Put yourself in my shoes.
Eduardo: Do you love him?
Tammy: I don’t. And what happens when I find someone I do? With a kid? Forget it. I invite someone up for a nightcap and pay off the babysitter? Mr. Right’s gonna say, ”Oh, yeah. I love taking care of other people’s children. It’s hard enough it’s hard enough to get people’s sincerity without throwing kids in the mix. I can’t even take care of myself. How am I gonna take care of a kid?
Eduardo Verastegui: Have you thought about adoption?
Tammy Blanchard: Do we have to talk about this right now?
Tammy: I can’t carry a living thing inside my body for nine months, and then, what? Leave it on a doorstep in a basket for some stranger? To me, that’s worse than anything.
Eduardo: It doesn’t have to be a stranger.
Tammy: So then I just start calling up relatives? My relative? Hey, Mom, I haven’t talked to you in four years but I got something for you. Or how about this? You can have it. I bet Manny could teach it a thing or two. The Suviran boys can raise little Nina… because right now, you’re probably the only person in the world I trust.
Angelica Aragon: I don’t normally share this, but in the early years, we couldn’t have children. We tried. We tried hard. We did everything we could, but–
Ramon Rodriguez: Mom, don’t mention such things in front of the children.
Angelica: And then when we were about to give up one of his cousins back in Puerto Rico was a social worker… and before we knew it we had adopted this beautiful baby. He was not even three years old. A really precious boy. I think the only difference between my three sons is the way that Manny came to us.
Tammy Blanchard: What does Manny feel about people knowing he’s adopted?
Eduardo Verastegui: To us, it doesn’t make a difference.
Tammy: You are seriously lucky. You have a good family.
Eduardo Verastegui: How about your family?
Tammy: My dad passed away when I was twelve. No brothers or sisters. So that’s my family.
Tammy Blanchard: When I was eighteen, my mom held out her hand. She waved her wedding ring at me this tiny stone my dad probably got at a pawn shop. She said, ”You need to get you one of these.” She loved him so much she never took that ring off. That’s what I want, Jose. I want to bring a child into this world out of love… with a man who’s gonna take care of us. I don’t have that. I can’t have this baby and watch it suffer with me. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m gonna need a friend next week.
Tammy Blanchard: Do you know who I am?
Sophie Nyweide: You’re my mama.
Tammy: I brought this for you. That was the last gift my father gave to me.
Sophie: Thank you.
Tammy: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Sophie: You’re welcome.
Tammy: Jose thank you so much. I’m sorry.
Eduardo Verastegui: Thank you. Thank you.
“Bella star Eduardo Verastegui shares the story of a very personal, life-changing event”
Here’s an interview with the author of the book “Behind Bella: The Amazing Stories of Bella and the Lives It’s Changed”
from L. Brent Bozell III at HUMAN EVENTS:
Now comes the little movie “Bella,” which won the People’s Choice award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Once again, a single waitress finds herself pregnant and feels that abortion is her only way out, until she spends a day with a man who’s just lost his soccer-star career. In that one day together, their lives are changed forever, and she decides to carry her baby to term. Oh, boy. Here we go again. The word “abortion” is never mentioned in the movie.
Worse yet for the Hollywood elite, the executive producer of “Bella” is Steve McEveety, who was also executive producer of “The Passion of the Christ.” He says as “The Passion” showed us how to die, “Bella” shows us how to live.
Movie critics will probably hate it, since it doesn’t even have oodles of sex and profanity in it to keep them entertained. Variety already booed: “Manipulative pic trades in fairytale views of New York life alongside briefly sustained emotional confessions.”
The makers of “Bella” are different than the average Hollywood moviemakers. They have refused projects they didn’t feel were uplifting. Their religious convictions had led to a desire to make redeeming films. Their company is named Metanoia Films, after the Greek word for “conversion” or “repentance.” Those are not Hollywood words. But they are words that can resonate all over the Main Streets of America.
So what does Main Street think of “Bella”? Preview audiences repeatedly have given it standing ovations.
part of an article by Robert Novak:
“Bella” arrives in an environment that has grown bleak for enemies of abortion. The Democratic Party has become so much the party of abortion rights that of 41 freshmen Democrats elected to the House, only three are anti-abortion. Pro-life forces in the House suffered a net loss of 13 members. That means statutory restrictions on abortion, which must be renewed by each Congress, are now in serious jeopardy.
The loss of numerical strength on Capitol Hill reflects a public relations and political victory by the abortion lobby. Republican politicians tend to give only lip service to the issue, typified by President George W. Bush’s silence on abortion. Republican candidates have accepted support from pro-life forces — and then kept quiet about abortion, leaving the field open to pro-choice advocates.
Thus, the anti-abortion movement sees “Bella” as providential. It is entertainment, not propaganda. Although Monday’s screening was sponsored by the National Council for Adoption, the word “adoption” is uttered only once in the film. There are no tirades against abortion. Indeed, it acknowledges a woman’s pain of carrying a baby to term only to give it up for adoption. In the end, however, the film is a heart-wrenching affirmation of life over death.
“Bella” was conceived by three young Mexican men — producer, director and lead actor — who are conservative Catholics and want to make movies removed from Hollywood’s movie culture of sex and violence. Bankrolled by a wealthy Catholic family from Philadelphia, they shot the film in 24 days in New York City.
The star is Eduardo Verastegui, a Mexican heartthrob as a lead performer in TV soap operas who now lives in Los Angeles. A devout Catholic, he told me he was tired of movies showing Latinos as disreputable and immoral. He has learned to speak English in three years well enough to play the lead role mostly in English (with subtitles over the Spanish).
from a pro-abortion commenter at this site:
I have seen Bella and it is an exquisite film. Personally I would not consider it to be a very anti-abortion film. The woman in the film experiences an unplanned pregnancy and is having a rough time in her life at the moment. She decides to have an abortion but then changes her mind at the last possible second. I would say this movie celebrates choice. If you have no seen it, do yourself a favour and watch it. It is an extremely well-made movie (a rarity nowadays).
The tender Bella celebrates friendship, family, and, most of all, life. When Nina, a struggling single woman, learns she’s pregnant, she plans to abort, but when a friend offers support, she reconsiders—and we don’t learn of her final decision until the end of the movie. Writer/director Alejandro Monteverde, a devout Catholic, told ct he’s reluctant to use the term “pro-life” to characterize his film, because he doesn’t want it pigeonholed. Instead, Monteverde calls it “a love story that goes beyond romance” and illustrates “self-sacrificial love for others.” Bella certainly delivers on both counts.