The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincent Fernandez

Watch The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincent Fernandez

  • NR
  • 2012
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 5.9  (334)

The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincent Fernandez is a heartwarming comedy-drama film from 2012 that stars the legendary Ernest Borgnine in his final leading role. The movie, directed by Elia Petridis, follows the story of Rex Page, a retired radio personality who has spent his entire life in Los Angeles but now lives in a nursing home in California's Central Valley. Rex is a cantankerous old man who hates his current situation and has never quite been able to shake off memories of past failures and regrets. However, fate deals Rex a surprise hand when he accepts an invitation to a local Mexican-American festival, where he ends up shaking the hand of one of his musical idols, the famous Vincent Fernandez.

From this point forward, the film takes on a much more exciting, heartfelt, and even philosophical tone. Rex becomes inspired by the music of Vincent Fernandez, a famous mariachi singer from Mexico, and decides to make the most of the time he has left, embarking on a series of adventures and pursuing his own personal goals, such as reconnecting with his estranged family and finding a way to give back to the community.

The movie is beautifully shot, showcasing the stunning scenery of Central California's agricultural heartlands, and the film does an excellent job of conveying the unique sense of community that exists there. Rex may be a gruff, stubborn old man, but as he connects with the people around him, both young and old, he begins to realize that he's been living in isolation for far too long, and that there's a lot more to life than what he had previously assumed.

The acting in The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincent Fernandez is superb, with Ernest Borgnine giving a remarkable final performance. His portrayal of Rex is both gruff and gentle, charming and abrasive, as he brings to life a complex, multi-dimensional character. Barry Corbin, a veteran character actor, also delivers an impressive performance as the nursing home administrator who becomes the unlikely friend and ally of Rex. Carla Ortiz rounds out the main cast, playing the nurse who reluctantly accompanies Rex on his adventures, with a quiet grace that complements Borgnine's more boisterous energy.

One of the things that makes this movie stand out is its authentic depiction of Mexican-American culture, from the colorful fiestas to the lively music of Vincent Fernandez. The movie offers a glimpse into the lives of the people who live in California's Central Valley, a community that is often overlooked and marginalized in American society. In this way, the film has an important message about the power of cultural exchange, empathy, and understanding, as people from different backgrounds come together to share their stories and experiences.

Overall, the movie is a bittersweet yet ultimately uplifting tale about the transformative power of music, the importance of community, and the value of seeking out new experiences, no matter what age one is. The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincent Fernandez is a genuinely heartfelt and poignant film that will leave a lasting impression on audiences, and in particular, on the fans of Ernest Borgnine, who passed away not long after the movie was released. It's a fitting tribute to a Hollywood legend in one of his most compelling performances.

The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincent Fernandez
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (334)