Not really bad
but out of place in the original meaning of the catalogue (not so if Moonstruck
is there too) it was a mainstream movie for the "let's take the missus to the cinema" audience based on a popular book in the style of romance/magic realism made by a woman about a family in a town she seems to have never visited or misunderstood a lot. Wrote this part last, wrote a lot again so TL;DR
it's not real bad but its meta is controversial so your nonnina will probably not care much unless she expects some cream of the crop product that also touches upon odd topics.
Strictly talking about this case the movie seems to have been restored due to being directed by a communist called Arau (who was a good comedian in its time) in association with a team chuck full of jews pushed back then by the mainstream, the most famous being Emmanuel Lubezki who had one of its uncles as the part of the jury who gave the movie a lot of national prizes. That's the reason i think the movie was a candidate, the politics are there along with being a heavily-prized movie forgotten in time by the viewers and even the continental scene (latin american i mean).
For example 1974's Calzonzin Inspector
, an older movie by Arau is a much more notorious example piece of cinema than Como Agua
, mainly because it humorously touched on a strong topic in its days, the characters are kinda memorable, became an unexpected hit outside the country and wasn't in its home turf because the government shadow banned it due to showcasing rulers' numerous bad decisions as malicious rather than honest mistakes. It was shown briefly in cinemas then only found in bootlegs until 1989 and on TV after 2000's elections.
Yet has been ignored by most studios for some reason or another, which leads me and some others to believe CC's decision to pick one over another as a proof they are in cahoots with the usual suspects.
Sidestepping the topic, the book was greatly enjoyed by many but the "real" (as in not immigrant) people in the area in which the events of it happens somewhat loathed the book and the author book uses the protagonist's cooking savvy as themes and plot points yet many of the dishes and ingredients are foreign to Piedras Negras which is the town, situated in the northern desert areas yet it seems they are flooded with deep south ingredients and aztec dishes from Central America, much to the chagrin of the IRL local gastronomy circles. The town was picked mainly because of the plot point of being a Revolution War hotspot in which the author, a Mexico City resident in the south, wanted to touch upon often
It was even a joke in a comedy show on how aggressive the natives could get back then, a tourist goes to the town and says loud "ah yes, mole sauce with turkey!" in which an old, seemingly-sweet lady replies "and F your mother too, cat-eater" ("y chin-chin a tu madresita, come-gatos"), plays a bit too with the city's catchphrase in recent era for being an immigrant hub: "Ya vayase" (Go away already). It's a classic case, once again, of culture shock/misunderstanding inside the same country, but oh well the people in that city have had worse: Some years ago the mayor (who wasn't a local either) built a replica mayan pyramid in a park.
It would be interesting to see movies who moderately depict a place or area and ask the real natives if they liked it, in my personal experience it is a rare occurrence among national cases but it makes me wonder what other cases occur in Asia or Europe. I remember reading the Cretans loved Zorba
but i have my suspicions towards that statement, also i recall an obscure case of a serbian movie, i think it was U Ime Naroda
, who playfully mocked the mountain serbs (Montenegrins) yet in some reviews, written and on video, they claim they loved it to bits down to the accents.