In 2008, many people lost their homes in one of the worst recessions ever. California Winter revisits this time from the perspective of a young real-estate agent who had just begun her career not long before the recession. Not really understanding the loans she was pushing during the housing boom, she finds herself having to save her father’s home from foreclosure. It is an emotionally moving film that may hit a little too close to home for millions of viewers.
As of 2005, Clara Morales (Elizabeth Dominguez) was just beginning her career as a real estate agent with a promising future ahead of her. She quickly sales a few properties and establishes herself as a superb salesperson in her company, despite not really knowing about the risky loans she is persuading her clients to get in order to get houses they really cannot afford. At the same time, her mother’s health takes a turn for the worse and Clara convinces her father to get the same type of loan to pay the medical bills. But then in 2008, the “housing bubble” burst. The real estate market slows to a crawl, leaving Clara in sad shape, and her father is unable to keep up with the payments on his loan. Clara does everything she can to save his home, even pushing some ethical boundaries.
The film also shows the effects on the communities around them, as foreclosure signs go up everywhere, police show up to evict people who have done nothing wrong, and bankers struggle to work within a flawed system. It was a rough time for many people across the country; even people who weren’t involved in the housing market.
Overall, California Winter is a decent portrayal of the effects of the 2008 market crash. The cast is well enough though the acting seemed a little sub-par or melodramatic at times. Even veteran actors Michael Ironside and Erick Avari aren’t at their best.