Critics' Pick

On the Seventh Day (En el Séptimo Día) (NR)

Comedy 92 min. June 8, 2018
By Monica Castillo
On the seventh day of creation, the Bible says God rested. On the seventh day of his own week, En el Séptimo Día’s José dedicates his free time to his two faiths — the church and soccer. Not only does José play soccer with his roommates every Sunday, he’s their top player, leading the Puebla team into the finals. Unfortunately, José’s boss isn’t interested in the sport or his workers and asks José to come in on his day off to deliver food — no excuses. José must decide what to honor: his team or his job.

José’s internal tug of war slowly unravels over the course of the seven days leading up to the championship game. Jim McKay’s naturalistic drama finds José under pressure not just from his teammates but also from his boss and his pregnant girlfriend back home in Mexico. He barely masks the tiredness of carrying these conflicting demands. José serves as team captain, both officially on the field but also in his way at home and work, where he tries to look after his friends. He covers for a roommate’s injury and smooths things over with his demanding boss.

The actor behind José, Fernando Cardona, musters a sympathetic performance out of a character who always wears his poker face. He restrains himself during every setback and insult, with lips pressed closed and serious eyes looking forward. Occasionally, the cast’s inexperience trips up the dialogue’s rhythm, but the film would lack its natural, authentic cadence without these non-actors. Director McKay captures a genuine sense of the bittersweet reality of the American dream and the people who give up their only weekly day of rest just to keep it alive.
Jim McKay Fernando Cardona, Abel Perez, Gilberto Jimenez, Alfonso Velazquez, Genoel Ramírez, Gilberto Arenas, Alejandro Huitzil, Ricardo Gonzalez, Eduardo Espinosa, Cristofer Huitzil Jim McKay Cinema Guild


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