Maria Full of Grace
Drama | Spanish with English subtitles | 101 minutes
A seventeen-year-old Colombian, Maria Álvarez, is in a dead-end job de-thorning roses in a sweatshop factory. After harmful treatment from her boss, she quits. Her family, dependent for her income, is furious. While in Bogota looking for a job, Maria is lured by an evil smoothie, Javier, into becoming a drug mule. He teaches her to swallow pellets containing heroin. If a pellet should break in her stomach, she would probably die from an overdose. Upon arrival at U.S. customs, Maria must make sure she’s calm; the inspectors must not become suspicious. After clearing customs, Maria is taken to a motel where she is given a strong laxative. The pellets are discharged and Maria is paid. This time she must decide whether to return to Columbia and start the process again or remain in the U.S. as an illegal immigrant and hope for a better life.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97
- Metacritic Score: 87
- Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Catalina Sandino Moreno)
- Berlin International Film Festival: Winner, Best Director (Joshua Marston); Best Actress (Catalina Sandino Moreno)
- AFI Awards: Winner, Best Movie of the Year
- National Board of Review (USA): Winner, Best Foreign Film
- New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Winner, Best First Film (Joshua Marston)
Now streaming on:
Catalina Sandino Moreno is a Colombian Mona Lisa, a delicate, unforgettable force majeure. Add to her luminous demeanor a story that rips fleshy holes through your heart and you’ve got yourself a stunner of a film.
MARIA FULL of GRACE sustains a documentary authenticity that is as astonishing as it is offhand. Even when you’re on the edge of your seat, it never sacrifices calm, clear-sighted humanity for the sake of melodrama or cheap moralizing.
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