Sunday, February 20, 2005

Maria Full of Fierce

Catalina Sandino Moreno
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
The best thing about the film "Maria Full of Grace" is that it is totally bereft of the usual sentimentality that characterizes so many other similar films about po' girls of color trying to escape their lives of boredom and poverty.
Catalina Sandino Moreno she is fierce, mami. Thank Dios that the writer/director insisted on shooting this film about Colombian drug mules (those who ingest drugs before smuggling them to the U.S.)in Spanish, and using unknowns. I kept thinking, "God, he could have cast, like, Claire Danes or something. And she would have had bad black hair dye like Winona Ryder in "House of the Spirits" and loads of mascara.

(Wait! I just saw a production of "South Pacific" where the girl playing the young Tonkinese beauty had this really obvious hair-piece, which my friend Michael described as "totally dry bad snap-on hair!")

I'm so glad that Maria didn't have totally dry bad snap-on hair.

There's a great scene where (spoiler alert!!)Maria tells her boyfriend she's pregnant and they just sit in hostile awkardness sniping at each other, until it just comes right out that they don't love each other. I loved this scene. I loved its honesty, and I LOVED that there was no reconciliation later. None. No mention of the guy. Just like in REAL. LIFE.

It was a good film -- interesting, engaging, moving at times, but not approaching "harrowing," which is how one critic described it. I'm going right now to watch the commentary track to see how they filmed the scenes where Maria swallows dozens of pellets of balloon-wrapped heroin. I was getting acid reflux just watching it.


Blogger PeaceBang said...

Oooh, they had a prop guy make a fake pellet with digestable material in it, and she actually swallowed it for REAL.


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