Star Maps

Director/Writer: Miguel Arteta
Director of Photography:Chuy Chávez
Editors:Jeff Betancourt, Tom McArdle and Tony Selzer
Music:Lysa Flores
Production Designer:Carol Strober
Producer:Matthew Greenfield
Fox Searchlight; R; 95 minutes
Cast:Douglas Spain, Efrain Figueroa, Kandeyce Jorden, Annette Murphy, Martha Velez and Lysa Flores

A fine first feature that boasts sharp storytelling. Carlos (Spain) returns to LA from Mexico to chase his dream of becoming a movie star and work in the family business of selling maps to movie stars' homes — well, that's the front anyway. The real money comes from selling teenage boys to passersby. Carlos finds his family on the brink of destruction, with a sociopath pimp father (Figueroa) and an unstable mother who talks to a dead Mexican actor. Carlos is willing to do anything to become a star and agrees to sleep with an obnoxious soap star (Jorden) when she promises him a role in her show. Though the role turns out to be tiny, it's enough to keep his dreams alive and his mind away from his trouble at home.