MARIA FULL OF GRACE

Naturalistic Drug Drama

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 16, 2004

Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega, Virgina Ariza, Guilied Lopez, Patricia Rae, and Orlando Tobón

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 101 minutes

Address Comments To:

Mark Ordesky, President
Fine Line Features
Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne
Co-Chairman/Co-CEO
New Line Cinema
116 North Robertson Blvd.
Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 854-5811
Fax: (310) 854-1453
Web Page: www.flf.com

Content:

(C, BB, PP, LL, VV, S, A, DD, MM) Light Christian worldview with heroine praying in church in one scene and with pro-life, anti-drug message and positive pro-American Dream elements; 22 mostly strong obscenities and one light profanity; brief glimpse of bloody bathroom where someone has died and, the audeince learns later, cut up to get drugs inside body; unmarried girl becomes pregnant; no nudity; alcohol use; illegal heroin smuggling; and, lots of lying, plus teen rebellion.

GENRE: Drama

Summary:

MARIA FULL OF GRACE, an American independent movie in Spanish, is a poignant look at the heroin smuggling business, told from the perspective of a pregnant 17-year-old girl from rural Columbia who’s looking for a better life. The movie’s ending is a hopeful one, with a strong pro-life, anti-drug message, as well as a message that supports the notion of seeking the American Dream.

Review:

MARIA FULL OF GRACE, an American independent movie in SPANISH, is a poignant look at the drug smuggling business, from the perspective of one of the small-time smugglers, or mules, that the drug dealers use in Columbia to transport heroin.

Maria Alvarez, the title character, is a pretty 17-year-old teenager in a small rural town in the countryside near Bogotá, where she works long hours at a flower plantation to help support her mother and sister. One day at work she becomes nauseous twice, but her boss won’t let her take another bathroom break, so she quits. Her family is naturally upset, but Maria refuses to go back to the plantation.

Maria learns, however, that she’s pregnant. Her boyfriend, Juan, offers to marry her, but he doesn’t really love her. Maria decides to look for work in Bogotá. On the way there, she meets Franklin, a self-assured young man who offers her a job as a drug mule. Putting aside her misgivings, Maria meets Javier, the man in charge of sending the smugglers to New York City and back. Javier hooks Maria by giving her some money, which he describes as a gift. Maria befriends Lucy, a drug runner who eases Maria’s concerns.

Maria is alarmed and angry to discover that Franklin has also recruited Maria’s chubby friend, Blanca. Twenty-four hours later, after swallowing more than 60 plastic pellets filled with heroin, Maria and Blanca are on a plane to New York with Lucy and several other mules. The trip does not turn out to be the uneventful trip Franklin promised them.

MARIA FULL OF GRACE is a revealing dramatic look at rural life in Columbia and the low-level people who get swept up in the drug trade. It is also very suspenseful, with a tremendous, naturalistic performance by novice actress Catalina Sandino Moreno as Maria. The ending is a hopeful one, symbolized by the movie’s metaphorical Christian title, which not only refers to the child growing inside Maria’s tummy, but is also a symbolic reference to the Virgin Mary, who plays an important role in Maria’s Roman Catholic Christian faith. In the end, Maria decides that she needs to protect her baby by making more positive decisions. Thus, there’s a strong pro-life, anti-drug message in the text, as well as a pro-American message that supports the notion of seeking the American Dream. The movie’s mature content, illegal drug references, and strong foul language require an extreme caution, however.

In Brief:

MARIA FULL OF GRACE, an American independent movie in Spanish, is a poignant look at the drug smuggling business. Maria Alvarez, the title character, is a pretty 17-year-old teenager in a small rural town in the countryside near Bogota, Columbia, where she works long hours at a flower plantation to help support her mother and sister. After abruptly quitting her job and finding out she’s pregnant, Maria takes a job smuggling heroin into New York City. Maria befriends Lucy, a drug runner who eases Maria’s concerns. Her trip does not turn out to be the uneventful trip she was promised.

MARIA FULL OF GRACE is a revealing dramatic look at rural life in Columbia and the low-level people who get swept up in the drug trade. It is also very suspenseful, with a tremendous, naturalistic performance by novice actress Catalina Sandino Moreno as Maria. The ending is a hopeful one, symbolized by the movie’s metaphorical Christian title, with a strong pro-life, anti-drug message, as well as a pro-American message that supports the notion of seeking the American Dream. The movie’s mature content, illegal drug references, and strong foul language require an extreme caution, however.