Gonzalez

In this debut feature by writer-director Christian Díaz Pardo, a well-intentioned but awkward and shiftless young man named Gonzalez Gonzalez spends his days looking for employment in Mexico City and his nights parked in front of a flat-screen TV that he’s purchased on an overextended credit card. Desperate for work, he hires on at a phone bank for a slimy televangelist (Carlos Bardem, brother of Javier) and gradually becomes fascinated with the cultish church and its guileful figurehead. Pardo tries to forge a connection between religious hucksters and the global recession, but his script is so facile that the comparison feels tenuous at best. The film’s biggest asset is Juan Pablo Ramirez, whose haunting cinematography captures an impoverished Mexico City in all its mercilessness. In Spanish with subtitles.