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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Catalina Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Joshua Marston
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
101 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Fine Line
 "Maria Full of Grace" Review 
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Have you ever watched a film that you admired, respected and just thought "WOW!"...but you just never truly connected with? "Maria Full of Grace" is such a film for me.

In this film, a young Colombian girl longs to escape her native country and agrees to ingest drugs and transport them into the US. It is a naive decision fueled by desperation and hunger for a better life and for hope.

Writer/director Joshua Marston has created a film of tremendous authenticity, pain and yet beauty. Actress Catalina Moreno is stunning in her film debut with a performance that balances naiveté with street smarts, hopefulness with despair.

This film is shot with great simplicity, and the accompanying score is one of tremendous, well, grace. It is perfect for this film.

Yet, there were moments when I found this film a bit TOO simple...a bit TOO hopeful...a bit TOO resolved for the grittiness of the subject. As much as I had heard about this film, I expected a much grittier, more harrowing film than was presented.

"Maria Full of Grace" is an excellent film that never quite pulled me in as much as I'd have expected considering the subject matter and the beautiful performance of Moreno. It remains, however, a "technically" wonderful film and promises a great future for filmmaker Joshua Marston.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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