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Maria Full of Grace

Maria Full of Grace


Title - Maria Full of Grace
My Admission - $8.00
One Line Review - As Graceful As They Come.


Review – Catalina Sandino Moreno, in her Oscar nominated performance, stars as Maria Alvarez, a hardworking seventeen year old Colombian with few options and a lot on her mind.  The film, winner of the 2004 Sundance Audience Award, excels at subtlety and simple reality.  Not flashy or over zealous, not even dumbed down or reveling in it’s lack of budget, Maria Full of Grace is one of the best examples of what can be done in an Independent Film.

Provide an interesting take on an old genre.  Maria Full of Grace takes a seemingly typical drug-runner film and gets beyond the stereotypes and into the individuals involved.  It’s displaying a heart I haven’t seen, in film, in quite some time.  This is most notably achieved through the quality of casting.  When you’ve no money to blind an audience you have to rely on raw talent, both with your crew and with your cast.  Maria Full of Grace excels on both counts.

Joshua Marston wrote and directed Maria Full of Grace as a way of looking at the drug wars being heralded by the U.S. and other nations from a very internalized front.  A front with reasons and justifications, with hopes, and with greater consequences than can be imposed by any form of government or legal institution. The most interesting facet of Marston’s film is in the simple way individuals can find (or lose) themselves in becoming a part of the drug trade.  Marston delivers a tangible and human story that for the audience becomes as inescapable as it does for its characters.

Set in Colombia and New York and spoken entirely in Spanish, Maria Full of Grace moves with a soft and tender touch.  Never outright oppressive, it continues to use the internalization of its emotions to ebb and flow the audience.  It’s very effective and very moving.


Movie Information

Distributor: Fine Line Features
MPAA Rating: R for drug content and language.

Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega, Guilied Lopez,Virginia Ariza

Director: Joshua Marston
Producers:  Paul Mezey 
Screenwriter: Joshua Marston
Cinematographer:  Jim Denault
Composer: Leonardo Heiblum
Executive Producer: Paul Mezey
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min
Genre: Drama and Crime/Gangster

Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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