Maggie and Milo are a twin brother and sister who have been living apart for ten years. Milo has been desperately trying to follow his Hollywood dream of stardom, while Maggie is struggling to keep hold of her marriage to Lance. The pair are reunited expectedly after both narrowly avoiding a fatal accident on exactly the same day, and Maggie offers Milo a place to stay. Their relationship is rocky at best, but it soon becomes clear that they need each other's guidance if they want to overcome their troubles; Maggie can't bring herself to tell Lance that she's not ready for the baby they've been trying to conceive, and Milo simply can't let go of a past heartbreak. Can these twins reconnect and fix each other, or is it too late to work things out?
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The fact that "Spanglish" is narrated through the contrivance of a college application letter is typical of the calculating, false tone of writer-director James L. Brooks' latest Oscar-baiting human-condition dramedy.
This letter, written by a teenager girl (Shelbie Bruce) who tells the story of her immigrant mother's honor and determination, is all too carefully measured with pangs of empathy, familiarity and humor -- which may make for a well-written essay but feels manipulative and wholly deliberate on film.
Beginning with a flashback set in Mexico, the girl's mom sneaks the two of them across the border and becomes a rift-healing, down-to-earth, "no hablo inglés" Mary Poppins maid for a harried yuppie family in upscale Brentwood.
Continue reading: Spanglish Review
Swinton herself is an ex-boarding school pupil.