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Blue Miracle

(2021, Quintana)

"All I'm trying to say is, if you wanna make your life better, you gotta do what you know is right every single day. I mean, no matter what anybody thinks, even when it's hard. And that is how you get ahead."

Life doesn't always deal us the best hand. Things won't go the way we want every single day, but still we have to try to do our best to keep ourselves focused, out of trouble, and "ahead". That is what Omar (Jimmy Gonzales) is trying to teach the kids at his foster home, even when life isn't dealing him the best hand, even when it's hard.

Blue Miracle follows "Papá" Omar, as the kids call him, as he struggles to make ends meet at this foster home he leads with his wife Becca (Fernanda Urrejola). But Omar is haunted not only by the lack of funds and his inability to pay the mortgage on the place, but also by memories of his past, which typically involve him in a boat with his now deceased father.

The opportunity to solve their problems comes in the form of a fishing tournament, and after a teenage orphan that's been causing trouble at the marina ends up at his home, Omar reluctantly pairs with a beaten down captain (Dennis Quaid) to try to win the tournament, teach his kids something about life, but also exorcize his own demons of the past.

Even though it's based in real life events, there's hardly anything original about how things unfold in Blue Miracle. You will probably figure out how things will go 10-20 minutes in. But regardless of that, there is some heart to its simple story. In addition, both Quaid and Gonzales were pretty solid in it (for what it's worth, I saw the Spanish dubbed version).

I have to also commend director Julio Quintana (of Cuban descent) and cinematographer Santiago Benet Marí (from Puerto Rico!) because the film looks simply gorgeous. The shot composition, use of light and colors from Benet Marí was impressive, and Quintana uses a couple of neat tricks in moving the camera, which actually pushed the film half a notch for me.

Like I said, the film's story is nothing special, but it was chosen by my kids yesterday morning, so maybe that's why I warmed up to it more than someone else would; and, even though their interest came and went, they pushed through, and I hope they took something out of it; to do what is right every single day.