It's getting harder to appreciate an immigrant saga like The Beautiful Country in which audiences are expected to be swayed by the poor and huddled masses. After all, isn't the United States a country of immigrants? To make such a film memorable, directors should try one of two things: Remind us of the importance of this notion through a distinctive personal narrative, or tell us something we haven't heard before. The Beautiful Country flirts with both possibilities, but not enough to produce something memorable.
In 1990 Vietnam, Binh (newcomer Damien Nguyen) has an even more difficult time because of his genetics. He's the product of a mixed marriage, a hasty but loving union of a Vietnamese mother and G.I. father, neither of whom he has seen in years. After he's forced out of his master/guardian's house, Binh, armed with little more than an old photograph and a bicycle, treks to Saigon where he reunites with his mother. A tragic accident forces another long, winding trek to America to find his father.
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