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Maria Full of Grace (2003)

Cast: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega, Guilied Lopez, more...
Director: Joshua Marston
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: HBO Home Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Romance, Politics and Social Issues, Coming of Age , Latin America
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

New York-based writer/director Joshua Marston makes his feature film debut with the coming-of-age drama Maria Full of Grace, with a script developed at the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab. Catalina Sandino Moreno plays Maria Alvarez, a teenager living in Bogotá, Colombia. Along with most of the other able-bodied people in her community, she works a perilous job in a flower plantation. She wants to quit, but her large family depends on her meager salary. One day, Maria meets a smooth-talking young man named Franklin. He offers her a business proposition to make some money and travel. However, the task involves her acting as a drug mule and smuggling heroin into the U.S. Maria Full of Grace premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the dramatic competition. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

"With few exceptions, Hollywood's portrayal of those involved in the manufacture, transport, sale, and use of drugs has, like the drug policies of the US government, always been rooted in fear and violence." Baylen J. Linnekin briefly traces the history of the drug wars in the movies and finds a turn around with the new millennium, culminating in the mature and humane Maria Full of Grace. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

Flows with the rhythms of daily life by SBarnett March 24, 2006 - 12:40 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
An outstanding film that remains true to its characters and story. The R rating is a travesty. The film contains none of the customary Hollywood props and crutches and stereotypes--no shootouts, T&A, grinding backstory, slathering dealers, intrusive camerawork. Intimate, lyrical realism, full of attention to detail, emotional depth, real anguish, hope, failure, redepmtion. Not to be missed.

Stirring & Provocative by JMVerville December 8, 2004 - 12:35 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Maria Full of Grace is one of the better films of 2004: well acted, well written, and very unique in its' story. From the beginning to the end Joshua Marston chooses to present the story in a way that has us relating and sympathizing with Maria in her plight to find her place in the sun.

A very real topic with very real portrayal and acting, this is definitely one of the better films to come out. It presents its story at a quick pace and leaves you wanting more.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and recommend it to anyone in general, being a great triumph in film-making. I hope to see more films from Joshua Marston in the future.

Immigrants by talltale December 7, 2004 - 5:50 AM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
2004 would appear to be the Hispanic year for movies. So far, "The Motorcycle Diaries" and MARIA FULL OF GRACE take top honors for full-bodied, emotionally and creatively bountiful films. "Maria" may be less universal in its geographical scope but it is full of the minute details of life lived in the oppressed lane. The viewer is thrust into the mind, soul and spirit of Maria as she goes from unsatisfied girl friend and family member to "mule" for a drug cartel. Nothing is pushed too hard here; moment after moment seems real and rough, with each positive thing earned at least twice over. The writing, direction and acting are of a piece--consistently believable. This is a stunning first feature; if it were this director's 50th, it would still be remarkable.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.39)
326 Votes
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