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  • It had all the makings of a horrible Christmas tale and yet by the end there is much more to this than meets the eye.

    Rather than opting more saccharine and tears this hits just hard enough and tough enough and has more relevance now than the film-makers could imagine.

    Dealing in the main with the utter desperation of a family who find themselves living in shelter and hoping for more the pacing could be tighter and the ideas more fluid but the relationship between the father and stepson is very good indeed.

    If you're patient and don't want a quick fix you will love this - but it is slightly askew in its overall tone - it struggles here and there to keep your attention - but overall I was surprised and pleasantly so.

    A different take on Christmas and a different take on values...
  • BobWasson5 May 2009
    I was pleasantly surprised when I rented this direct to video release. I didn't have a high expectation because most direct to DVD movies aren't great. Actually even the theatrically released films are usually a disappointment. John Leguizamo's performance was excellent as well as the rest of the cast. The little boy was great. It was very well written and directed. Everyone who worked on this should be very proud. The ending left me a little disappointed. It would have been nice to get a warm and fuzzy ending but still a great movie worth watching. It's nice to see a quality film that tells a story, has a message and actually develops characters that you care about. John did a great job making us believe in his character and forgetting we were watching an actor.
  • The boxer Frank Diaz (John Leguizamo) loses his fight card on the Christmas Eve. He goes home and tells his wife Angela Diaz (Leonor Varela). Out of the blue, his family and he are evicted and they have to move to a homeless shelter with their children Justin and Christina. Frank has an application in a real state office that calls him to see an apartment. However Frank needs to have a labor contract to keep the apartment. Frank needs to finds a job on the Christmas Eve to have an apartment for his family. But it is not easy since he is illiterate.

    "Where God Left His Shoes" is a heartbreaking movie about the desperation of a family man to find a job to be capable to rent an apartment for his family on the Christmas Eve. Unfortunately the story does not have end and become totally pointless. There is an old man seeking Frank out that is completely forgotten by the writer, maybe due to the restraint budget. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "Onde Mora a Esperan├ža" ("Where Hope Lives")
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Leguizamo stars as a father whose family ends up in a homeless shelter at Christmas time. On Christmas Eve he gets word that an apartment they applied for is there's however a catch, he must have a job by five pm that day in order to get it. Leguizamo and his son then head off in an effort to find a job so that they will have a home on Christmas morning. Darkly hopeful tale about the power of family to make things alright is an okay film. Its a great looking film that really feels like New York at the holidays, but at the same time it feels very much like a film that is wearing its independent nature on its sleeve like a badge of honor. The result is that the film never fully clicks. To me the film seems like its trying too hard to be about something. I'd like to give points to Leguizamo for a nicely rounded portrait of a family man trying to do the best he can. It's a warts and all portrayal that helps keep his character some one we want to watch. Worth a look if the subject matter interests you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It takes considerable artistic bravery and conceit to make a film such as this one, in the style in which it is put together. Although there are more than two characters in this film, it is essentially a two-hander, carried by John Leguizamo and the eleven- year-old David Castro as his stepson. It takes tremendous guts for a film-maker to entrust their creation to just two actors, especially when one of them is so young. But these two actors were perfectly cast, and my attention was held fast until the credits rolled. I watched it twice on the day that the DVD arrived. The film is an unflinching look at the life of a homeless family in New York, and it tells you all you need to know without melodrama, and still manages to remain spare, lean, and breathtaking. I have friends who have lived homeless, and this is their story. If you want to understand the homeless trap, then watch this. I waited years to buy this film. Don't make the same mistake.
  • A truly brave look at the plight of the homeless without the sugary coating that is usually applied. Wonderful to learn how much help was given to homeless people from the making of this movie too! What a wonderful example for other movie makers to follow!
  • I greatly disliked this movie because it presented a very unhealthy way of parenting and allowed disrespect of children for parents. The language was real profane, especially between a stepfather and a young child. Every imaginable profanity was used. The story also showed a parent figure stealing in front of his stepson and using filthy words in front of him and allowing him to do the same. The stepdad also teased his 9yr old stepson about french kissing girls, which seems far too young to be dealing with a 9yr old child about. The movie turned me off in every way, except for the last scene where the stepdad tells his stepson he loves him. It is definitely not a movie for children. It does reflect reality on the street but most don't live in that way and my concern is that the title and jacket might appeal to families or young children and they will be shocked by its content. I can't imagine where the title came from. It seems very inappropriate. I give it a one because of my above comments and it was one of the worst movies I've seen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This will contain spoilers.

    The general idea of this movie is telling the tale of a father dealing with a mountain of difficulties when his family finds themselves kicked out of their public housing and must live in a shelter.

    I found all of the actors to be appealing. The story was OK, although some of it seemed to be a by-the-numbers retread of Russle Crowe's boxing movie "Cinderella Man".

    However, WHERE GOD LEFT HIS SHOES has a weakness that is totally distracting. The movie's tone is realistic. Dry realism as in any serious drama. Yet time after time, there are small little things that reek of amateur hour. For example...

    1) The rich business owner is walking around his living room eating from a plate of meatballs, and his plate just happens to have an extra fork on it for a unexpected guest to share.

    2) The father wakes up in the morning and pulls away his blankets and quickly starts his day and speaks his lines, and his feet happen to already have his boots on and laced up.

    3) I find it unrealistic that a hungry person will so energetically refuse to eat good food unless there is a direct and clear reason.

    Not a bad movie, but not all that good either.