Approaching the illegal immigration subject matter without bias, a hidden political agenda, a blatant intention to take sides in the bigger debate, or obvious desire to stir up artificial controversy can’t be easy in today’s dubious legislative climate.
“Frontera” makes it that much more difficult to convey the right message by counting on a rookie feature-length director and writer, Michael Berry, and a second scribe with an even shadier resume, Louis Moulinet.
Also, the distributor’s track record isn’t exactly impressive, although Magnolia Pictures did score the occasional critical hit these past couple of years: “Nymphomaniac”, “The Double”, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.
In the end, “Frontera”, which is Spanish for border, probably deserves a shot primarily for its solid cast, led by Oscar nominee Ed Harris, grossly underrated character actor Michael Pena (“End of Watch”) and Golden Globe nominee Eva Longoria looking to shake up her post-Desperate Housewives career at last. No matter how contrived, second-rate mushy, manipulative and forcedly “intense” the below trailer feels.
“Frontera” opens September 5 in limited theaters, on the heels of a VOD release slated for July 31.