(No longer in theaters)
Dec 12, 2008
John Leguizamo gives his truest performance on film as a failed boxer in Salvatore Stabile’s emotional roller-coaster Where God Left His Shoes. Axed from the card of an upcoming bout, he loses his apartment and goes with his wife (Leonor Varela) and two children (David Castro, Samantha Rose) into a homeless shelter. The film follows his frantic efforts to get them out of there by Christmas, which involves fast-talking and then pleading with housing directors and a series of potential employers while his belittled son traipses around the city after him. The acting, the on-the-fly atmosphere (the film was shot quickly), and Leguizamo’s increasingly urgent hustle are deeply evocative, but parts of the movie are almost too painful to endure. Like The Pursuit of Happyness—but with a vastly different ending—the film taps into the primal fear of not being able to protect one’s family from the cruelty of the world. Given these times, it’s almost too big a dose—it gives your bad dreams bad dreams.