The last name Bichir is so recognizably part of Mexican media that at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards there was an entire category devoted to that storied family. And while fellow actors Odiseo and Bruno earned nods, it was Demián who walked away with the award that year for his work on Sin noticias de Dios (Don’t Tempt Me). It was but another reminder that the turn of the century would firmly establish Demián Bichir as one of the best and hardest working actors of his generation. Not even a decade later, he’d be celebrating an Oscar nomination, would soon have a leading role in a cable drama series, and be working with the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Robert Rodriguez, and Oliver Stone.

As we’ve pointed out before, Bichir’s work, especially since he began working in earnest in Hollywood, has given life to Mexican and Mexican-American characters that we rarely see on the big screen. Whether playing undocumented gardeners trying to bond with their sons, directing films about circus life, impersonating Fidel Castro, or stripping in sex farces set in Mexico City, the once telenovela actor has found success without boxing himself into any one kind of genre or role, pushing further and further what on-screen representation can look like. So if ahead of Gran Hotelyou’re looking to program your very own Bichir retrospective at home, we’ve found five of his best films that you can stream at home and that truly give you a sense of the actor’s range. Check them out below.

Lowriders

Production Year 2016

Stream it on Amazon and Google Play.

Synopsis

Where teenaged Danny is from, lowrider culture is about more than just spectacular cars—it’s about ethnic heritage, community expression and family traditions. When an annual lowrider event forces him to choose between his traditional father (Demian Bichir) and his estranged criminal brother (Theo Rossi), Danny’s loyalties are severely tested.


Film Details

Director Ricardo de Montreuil
Country United States
Genre Drama
Writer Joshua Beirne-Golden Cheo Hodari Coker Elgin James Justin Tipping
Producer Brian Grazer
Production Year 2016
Running Time 100 minutes

Sexo, pudor y lágrimas

Country Mexico
Production Year 1999

You can stream it on Netflix.

Synopsis

A big hit when it premiered back in 1999, this big screen adaptation of Antonio Serrano’s play by the same name is a comical farce centered on three men and three women in Mexico City. When Tomás (a bleached blond Demián Bichir) returns to Mexico after a seven-year trip around the world his stay at his friends’ place wreaks havoc. You see, not only are Carlos (Víctor Huggo Martin) and Ana (Susana Zabaleta) having issues, but it’s obvious that Ana still has feeling for Tomás, her ex. When Ana moves across the street to crash with Miguel (Jorge Salinas) and Andrea (Cecilia Suárez), another couple going through problems, the film turns into a battle-of-the-sexes comedy that puts all their relationships under scrutiny with hilarious (and, in the end, quite tragic) results.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details
Sex, Shame & Tears
Director Antonio Serrano
Country Mexico
Genre Comedy
Writer Antonio Serrano
Producer Matthias Ehrenberg Christian Valdelièvre
Production Year 1999
Running Time 109 minutes

A Better Life

Director Chris Weitz
Production Year 2011

You can stream it on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.

Synopsis

The film that earned Demián Bichir’s his Oscar nomination, A Better Life is an empathetic look at the life of undocumented workers in California. Bichir plays Carlos Galindo, a gardener who has hopes of making something of himself so that his son Luis (José Julián) can have a better chance at life in the United States. When Carlos’ big investment (a truck for his gardening business) gets stolen, he and his son head out to retrieve it, only for their journey to showcase just how different they are, all the while showing the world that undocumented workers like Carlos have to navigate to make a living. A portrait of the American Dream as well as a character study of a tireless father, Chris Weitz’s film shows exactly why Bichir is one of the best actors of his generation.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details

Director Chris Weitz
Country United States
Genre Drama
Writer Eric Eason Roger L. Simon
Producer Chris Weitz Christian McLaughlin Stacey Lubliner Paul Junger Witt Jami Gertz
Production Year 2011
Running Time 98 minutes

The Hateful Eight

Production Year 2015

You can stream it on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

Synopsis

While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and a man who claims to be a sheriff. When a blizzard forces them to take refuge at a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass, they find themselves sequestered in a rustic inn where four other strangers — including Demián Bichir’s laconic Mexican character, “Señor Bob” — may or may not threaten their respective bounties (and their lives). Bloody and quippy as any other Quentin Tarantino flick, and boasting an Oscar-winning Ennio Morricone score, The Hateful Eight is snow-capped 21st century take on the Western.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details

Director Quentin Tarantino
Country United States
Genre Action Drama
Writer Quentin Tarantino
Producer Shannon McIntosh Stacey Sher Richard N. Gladstein
Production Year 2015
Running Time 187 minutes

Hidalgo - La historia jamás contada

Country Mexico
Production Year 2010

You can stream it on YouTube.

Synopsis

Produced just in time to celebrate Mexico’s bicentennial, Antonio Serrano’s historical biopic tells the story of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (Demián Bichir), a key figure in the Mexican War of Independence. The period drama opens in 1811 at Chihuahua’s Military Hospital where Hidalgo reminisces about his earlier years. That includes his tenure as parish priest in the town of San Felipe Torres Mochas where he translated and produced the stage play “Tartuffe” by Moliere—one of the many things that earned him the ire of more conservative folks who didn’t know what to do with this libertine father who loved to dance and gamble and seduce. Offering a swooping vision of one of Mexico’s celebrated heroes Hidalgo la historia jamás contada is both history lesson and entertaining romp.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details

Director Antonio Serrano
Country Mexico
Genre Biopic Drama
Writer Leo Eduardo Mendoza Antonio Serrano
Producer Lourdes Garcia Luis Urquiza
Production Year 2010
Running Time 115 minutes
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