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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Maria Full Of Grace cinematronic
  director

Joshua Marston

cast

Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega, John Álex Toro, Guilied Lopez, Patricia Rae, Orlando Tobon

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  Writer/director Joshua Marston brings an unerring eye, profound sensitivity and a real knack for generating tension to "Maria Full of Grace," a movie that's much more than an impressive feature debut by a fledgling filmmaker. A sad, stirring drama with a sociological bent and the feel of a documentary, it's superior to the majority of what gets released in the wild world of cinema. "Maria Full of Grace" takes a harsh, detailed look at the mechanics of smuggling narcotics from Latin America to the United States via a drug mule. Maria, played with astonishing poise and depth by first-time actress Catalina Sandino Moreno, is a lively 17-year old Colombian girl who hates her menial job at a flower plantation. She quits after an argument with her boss; then, she learns she's pregnant by a shiftless boyfriend. Desperate for money to aid her family, she's recruited by local drug traffickers to transport a heroin shipment to the U.S. by plane. All she has to do is swallow smack-filled balloon after balloon, carry them on the flight in her stomach and expel them when she gets to New York and meets up with her contacts. She can't get stopped by customs and be found out, or she'll rot in jail; and if any of the balloons burst in her belly, it's likely to be a terminal case. Marston and Moreno do such a marvelous job of making Maria a sympathetic figure in harrowing straits that, drugs aside, it's hard not to root for her.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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