Luis Garcia (Lou Gossett), a once influential and now unresponsive Cuban musician living out his days in a dementia-induced fog, is afforded one last whirl at life when his nursing home places him in the care of callow, well-intentioned pre-med student Mina (Ana Golja). She replenishes his dietary regimen with home-cooked Cuban meals and restores music to his life — the needle hits the wax and the rainbow of cognizance that momentarily surges through Luis’ every fiber is a special effect that defies CGI. Luis is far from the stock curmudgeon often tied to the genre: he was a mean drunk, and a negligent father who abandoned his family when his son was eight. But the supporting cast houses a veritable who’s who of stock characters: the former love whom Luis now mistakes for his caretaker, Mina’s Muslim mother (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who refuses to let her daughter date outside the faith, a Nurse Ratchet-lite supervisor (Lauren Holly) who looks down on her new hire’s methodology, etc. Still, Gossett is nothing short of electrifying, and Golja is so convincingly naive that they alone kept it afloat for as long as possible before sentimentality and the candy colored flashbacks that line the film log jammed at the intersection of Artifice and Sap. Sergio Navarretta directs. (2019) — Scott Marks
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