Water and Power are twin brothers nicknamed so by their workaholic father; a blue collar worker at the Department of Water & Power of Los Angeles who insisted that you couldn't have one without the other. While Water is rising to the top in his illustrious political career, Power is caught up in a web of criminal deception as a cop in the LAPD, trying to keep the peace in the mean streets and struggling to work out whether he's doing a good job, or whether he is just like the gun-toting felons he's bringing in. After a particularly traumatic night, the pair reunite and find themselves in a motel room where they must join forces to survive - Water and Power have so many differences, but can they find common ground so they can work together just like their father always said they must?
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Lucia and Marcus are in love, freshly out of college the couple have decided they want to spend the rest of their lives together. The idea is firmly set in their minds, now all is left to do is to introduce the folks and announce the engagement. Simple.
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The film's direction and script -- co-written by Nava and Anna Thomas -- are spare yet purposeful. At times, Nava and Thomas's work feels a bit clumsy with its jabs at broad cultural stereotypes (fatuous gringo employers, vulgar Mexicans, etc.) and liberal dips into melodrama, but El Norte is also lyrically eloquent, steeped in dreams and visual metaphors that allude to a portentous future for its protagonists.
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Aside from Solondz's decidedly risky topics, his format in Storytelling takes chances. It presents two separate shorts, entitled "Fiction" and "Non-fiction," with no obvious connection between the two. The only true thread is that both comment on the telling of tales, the shifting of points of view, and the way most people in Solondz's suburban landscapes constantly paddle their painful lives upstream.
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Set in the fishing town of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a beautiful middle-aged Portuguese woman, Celia Amonte (Sofia Milos) uses her day job as a seamstress to support her teenage daughter Vicky (Emmy Rossum) in the house she shares with her mother-in-law (Lupe Ontiveros). At night, she sings and dances at a local restaurant to a more somber beat, using her music as an expression for the loss she feels over her husband's death. Even seven years after his death, Celia feels she could never love another, despite Vicky's attempts to set her up on various online dates. When an English drifter and professional gambler named Charlie (Jason Isaacs) rolls in town to clean out the local casino, he quickly becomes taken with Celia and tries every trick in the book to con his way into her heart.
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