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Marco Antonio Aguirre,
In a small village in Colombia, the pregnant seventeen years old Maria supports her family with her salary working in a floriculture. She is fired and with a total lack of perspective of finding a new job, she decides to accept the offer to work as a drug mule, flying to USA with sixty-two pellets of cocaine in her stomach. Once in New York, things do not happen as planned. Written by
The scene where Maria and Blanca return the pellets and money to the dealers in the parking lot was the last scene shot during principal photography. Filming was very difficult, because the actors playing the dealers had not rehearsed the scene in over a month and were having trouble getting into character. Threatened by the producers to abandon the scene, Director Joshua Marston eventually achieved what he needed by encouraging the actors to improvise, particularly with their blocking. During the The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) ceremony, the scene was played during the reading of Catalina Sandino Moreno's Best Actress nomination. See more »
After Maria gives Don Fernando the money for Lucy's family, she takes her wallet out twice. See more »
When I first heard about María Llena eres de Gracia and its subject, I had many doubts about the treatment of such a delicate subject and how Colombian this movie was, with a writer/director from the USA; but when I heard the interviews and read de reviews I got really interested in the film and went to see it as soon as I could.
The first thing that must be highlighted about this film is the treatment of the drug dealing problem. In this kind of movies is really easy to fall in the conventions and make a story full of clichés with police chases and all powerful heroes, but not, fortunately the director takes another perspective and gets into the life of the 'Mulas', and shows the whole picture without any prejudgment.
Is admirable how a person that had never been in Colombia, before the movie, understands the problem and shows it in a so delicate and powerful way, and is able to put it in the big screen without extremes so common in films about Latin America made by foreign directors, as an example watch Len Loach's Carla's Song.
The story of the movie is quite simple: a 17 years old girl has many economic problems and takes the 'mule' work as an opportunity to get the money she needs. The narration is lineal and relays absolutely in the work of the two main actresses, and this is the success of the movie, the work of the two girls is superb, they transmit lots of energy in the screen, and although sometimes the decisions of the characters are quite sudden, their interpretation makes them absolutely believable.
The movie changed the cover, for commercial reasons of course, and that is a shame, because the first one was really beautiful, it showed Maria in the airport in the middle of a group as if she were in a procession, but the new one although good is more obvious and drug oriented and lacks the delicacy of the film.
Let's wait for Mr Marston next movie.
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