A Useful Life (Spanish: La vida útil) is a 2010 Uruguayan drama film about the love of film, directed by Federico Veiroj and shot in black-and-white. The film was selected as the Uruguayan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards but it did not make the final shortlist.
Set in Montevideo's legendary Cinemateca Uruguaya, it is the story about the closure of a cinematheque with the same name due to financial difficulties, and how it affects its film loving middle manager Jorge (played by film critic-turned-actor Jorge Jellinek), who has worked there for 25 years. At first he is overwhelmed by the prospect of having no profession or purpose, and drifts around in Montevideo. But eventually he realises that nothing can kill his love for film, so he ends the day by taking his love interest to the cinema.
Although the story is fiction, Cinemateca Uruguaya, which celebrated 50 years in 2012, is besieged by financial problems, and its director Manuel Martínez Carril agreed to play himself in the film.