By Jack Rico
Movies, unlike TV, has been very slow to embrace diversity in Hollywood. Several studies show how low numbers account for a lack of multicultural stars in front of the camera and behind it, particularly for Hispanic talent. Nevertheless, every year these numbers are slowly improving. There is still a lot of work to do, but we here at ShowBizCafe.com, have decided then to highlight every single Hispanic movie being released in 2015.
We understand that the immediate association to a Hispanic film is a full Spanish-language production from either Spain or Latin America (i.e: Celda 211, Amores Perros) or one with a US Hispanic story as its principal theme (i.e: Cesar Chavez, Frontera). But for the purposes of this article, we are defining a Hispanic film not only as aforementioned above, but ones which either possess a Latino director, a Hispanic lead or co-star with significant screen time or one which has assembled an immense Latino cast (i.e: Disney’s McFarland USA). Why? How else can we promote Hispanic talent or Hispanic productions in Hollywood?
In celebration of this feat, we give you all 19 Hispanic Films To Watch In 2015!
The Boy Next Door: (January 23) Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman
Plot: The Puerto Rican Queen of Hollywood, Ms. Jennifer Lopez stars in this B-thriller suspenser about a newly divorced woman who falls for a 19 year old kid who has recently moved in across the street from her, but their torrid affair soon takes a dangerous turn when he tries to kill her family.
Everly: (January 23) Salma Hayek
Plot: Mexican actress/producer Salma Hayek takes a rare action starring role not since Bandidas with Penélope Cruz, centered on a woman who faces down assassins sent by her ex, a mob boss, while holed up in her apartment.
Gloria: (February 20) Gloria Trevi
Plot: This is the Spanish-language biopic based on the life story of controversial Mexican pop/rock icon Gloria Trevi. It delves into her rise to fame, her music and the controversy of the child abuse case that sent her to prison for four years.
Wild Tales: (February 20) Ricardo Darín
Plot: Nominated for Best Foreign Film this year, this Argentinian anthology movie which stars the George Clooney of Argentina, Ricardo Darín, tells the tales of love, deception, the return of the past, a tragedy, or even the violence contained in an everyday detail, appear themselves to push them towards the abyss, into the undeniable pleasure of losing control.
McFarland USA: (February 20) Cast of Latino actors
Plot: This is a true Hispanic movie. Based on the 1987 true story, Disney’s “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school.
The Gunman: (March 20) Javier Bardem
Plot: Filmed in Barcelona, Spain, Sean Penn stars next to Oscar winner Javier Bardem in this story about a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD tries to reconnect with his long time love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe in order to clear his name.
Run All Night (March 13) Jaume Collet-Serra, Genesis Rodriguez
Plot: Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra has developed a body of work of delightfully guilty pleasure B-thrillers that make him one of our favorite Hispanic directors. In his new film, an aging hitman is forced to take on his brutal former boss to protect his estranged son and his family.
Little Boy: (April 24) Alejandro Monteverde writes/directs
Plot: Mexican Alejandro Monteverde (who was supposed to direct Cantinflas) writes and directs this moving story of a 7-year old boy who is willing to do whatever it takes to end World War II so he can bring his father home. The story reveals the indescribable love a father has for his little boy and the love a son has for his father.
Child 44: (April 17) Daniel Espinosa
Plot: Chilean director Daniel Espinosa helms this tale of a disgraced member of the military police investigates a series of nasty child murders during the Stalin-era Soviet Union.
Hot Pursuit: (May 8) Sofía Vergara
Plot: Barranquillera Sofía Vergara co-stars in this movie about a police officer and a prisoner who are on the run in Texas.
Some Kind Of Beautiful: (August 21) Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba
Plot: A drama about a Cambridge poetry professor who begins to re-evaluate his life of Byronic excess.
Regression: (August 28) Alejandro Amenabar
Plot: A father is accused of a crime he has no memory of committing.
Hotel Transylvania 2: (September 25) Selena Gomez
Plot: Much like the first part, Selena Gomez plays the daughter of Dracula who is overprotected by her Dad. When the old-old-old-fashioned vampire Vlad arrives at the hotel for an impromptu family get-together, Hotel Transylvania is in for a collision of supernatural old-school and modern day cool.
Crimson Peak: (October 16) Guillermo del Toro
Plot: Guillermo del Toro… ’nuff said. The plot takes place in the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.
Hands of Stone: (December 11) Edgar Ramirez, Óscar Jaenada, Rubén Blades
Plot: The film centers on the legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto ‘Manos de Piedra’ Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel who change each other’s lives through boxing.
Why you should see it: The world over still remembers Roberto Duran because of his two fights with the very popular Sugar Ray Leonard back in the 80’s. ESPN 30/30 recently tackled the two fights without much insight, but Venezuelan director Jonathan Jakubowicz is more interested in a biopic of the Panamanian boxer and his relationship with his manager Ray Arcel. The English language film will count with Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez (Gael García Bernal dropped out) playing the lead role of Duran alongside the great Robert De Niro who will play Arcel. The Leonard fight debacle will be tackled in the script as R&B singer Usherwill be playing Sugar Ray Leonard and has been training intensely to resemble the style of the American pugilist. There is no doubt that this is a Latino story, for Latino audiences, but it also has a mainstream reach because it is about the world sport of boxing, Duran’s relationship with his famed trainer, and a sport history phenomena he set off with Leonard.
The Revenant: (December 25) Alejandro González Iñárritu
Plot: Directed by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu (whose new film Birdman was nominated for 9 Academy Awards), the story takes us into the world of a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, who in the 1820s set out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. Leonardo Dicaprio stars.
Honorable Mentions – Hispanic films without a release date or with Latino stars in minor roles:
33 Días: Gwyneth Paltrow stars in her first ever Spanish speaking movie role
The 33: Mexican Patricia Riggen directs Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Kate del Castillo
Dear Eleanor, The Veil: Jessica Alba
The Man on Carrion Road: Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego
Zoom, Desierto: Gael García Bernal
War on Everyone: Michael Peña
Fresno: Aubrey Plaza
Beyond Paradise: Ryan Guzman, Francia Raisa, Daphne Zuniga
Joy: Edgar Ramirez
Yoga Hosers: Genesis Rodriguez
Home: Jennifer Lopez (voice)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: Raini Rodriguez, Eduardo Verástegui