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Cast: Aunjanue Ellis, Joaquim de Almeida, Bill Cobbs, Ruth Negga, Sharon Lawrence
A lyrical and extraordinarily beautiful story woven together by the music that permeates New Orleans and the jazz that made it famous.
Renowned Neuroscientist Dr. Alvaro Cruz (Joaquim De Almeida) returns home from a lecture in Paris, heartbroken and disillusioned. In his absence, his mother has succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. Nothing that his research or science could do could stop this from happening.
As he decides to take some time off work and reconnect with the love of music that he shared with his mother finding solace in the music that permeates New Orleans' French Quarter, he hears the mesmerizing voice of Una Vida (Aunjanue Ellis) for the first time. After repeat visits to hear her sing, he realizes that she is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and that her unconventional "family" cannot cope with her declining health.
Cruz puzzles his wife, Angela (Sharon Lawrence), by seeking out Una Vida's long lost son in hopes of finally giving her resolution to the grief, loss and longing that has overshadowed her difficult but also beautiful life.
"Of Mind and Music" tells the story of Renowned Neuroscientist Dr. Alvaro Cruz. The doctor's mother suffered from Alzheimer's disease and passed away while he was away in Paris doing a lecture. He doesn't seem to be able to handle the fact that he wasn't there for his mom at the end but then something happens. When he decides to take a little time off from work to deal with his loss, he visits a little diner/coffee shop and sees a street performer by the name of Una Vida, he is immediately taken in by her beautiful voice and returns daily to her sing but after a few times he begins to notice that Una has some sort of memory loss. He then confronts, guitar player/manager, Stompleg and her friend Jessica. Neither are family by they are the closest she has to it. As Una begins to get worse, it is clear neither of them are capable of taking care of her and her needs so the doctor decides to step in and help by doing what he believes is best for Una.
I was really looking forward to seeing this film because of the story and the excellent cast and I was not disappointed. Whether the doctor helped out of guilt or not it shows the good side of human kind and the compassion we all have in us. The film is no doubt heart breaking but it is so much more than that. It is thought-provoking and inspirational and it shows the power of music.
"Of Mind and Music" has a tender story that sucks you in right from the start and it has a cast that really brings the characters to life. Joaquim de Almeida is incredible as the sensitive Neuroscientist Dr. Alvaro Cruz. Almeida has been in many films and has given many great performances but this for me was by far his finest performance. Aunjanue Ellis gives the film's most difficult performance playing Una. Another veteran of films Ellis gives an awarding winning performance that should not be over looked. Another actor that stood out was Bill Cobbs, what can be said about this master that hasn't already been said? Cobb is one of the best actors working today and he shines as the compassionate, Stompleg who does his best to care for and protect Una to the best of his abilities. And then there is Ruth Negga who is as beautiful as she is talented. She shines as Jessica who has always been a big part of Una's life. Regardless of her own problems she has always been there for her. And last by not least there is Sharon Lawrence who plays the doctor's wife, Angela, a woman who doesn't quite understand her husband but stands besides him and his decisions no matter what. The entire supporting cast was all fantastic as well.
"Of Mind and Music" reminds us how terrible Alzheimer's disease is and the affects in has not only on those suffering from the disease but to those close to them as well. But the film is more than that as well. It reminds us how precious life is and it shows the shows how much good is still out there in the world, among all the bad things happening there is still plenty of people looking out to help their fellow man. The film will leave you touched long after it is over and you will be telling your friends about it. "Of Music and Mind" is playing now in Theaters and it will be on Digital and DVD March 29, 2016. I highly recommend checking out this fantastic film as soon as possible. You can find out more about the film and where you might be able to see it by visiting HERE.
Released by Monterey Media
***** Out Of *****