“Coming Home,” a moving documentary portrait of a wrongly convicted ex-con struggling to mend his relationship with his estranged teenage daughter, succeeds despite an intrusive soundtrack that underscores each genuinely heartfelt moment.
Released from prison after serving 13 years on an attempted murder charge, the charismatic Angel Cordero is welcomed back to his Bronx home by his wife, whom he met and married while incarcerated, along with his mother and siblings.
Cordero must learn all the new technology that has emerged since 1999, but his biggest challenge proves to be reconnecting with his understandably resentful 16-year-old daughter, Sarah, who had been raised by another man and his family in Florida.
Cordero’s frustratingly futile attempts at a reconciliation, along with a face-to-face meeting with the perp who eventually confessed to the stabbing that implicated him, make for potent human drama.
Unfortunately, rather than trusting his articulate subject to do his own emotional heavy lifting, director Viko Nikci has seen fit to jam in way too many mood-setting musical cues, most insistently the Diddy-Dirty Money ditty with which the film shares its title.
Not every trial and tribulation in life necessitates a “Rocky” moment.
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills.