As Magdalena's 15th birthday approaches, her simple, blissful life is complicated by the discovery that she's pregnant. Kicked out of her house, she finds a new family with her great-granduncle and gay cousin.
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Magdalena is 14 and anxiously awaiting her 15th birthday where she'll celebrate her quinceanara. Her world starts to crumble when she discovers her pregnancy after not being able to fit in her gown for her quinceanara. Soon, she's kicked out of her home, abandoned by her family, and abandoned by her baby's father. Magdalena is then taken in by her great-granduncle, Tomas and her gay, often-in-trouble cousin, Carlos. There she finds a new family and life. Written by
Although it wasn't a first pick, I was able to get the time slot I wanted at Sundance to view this film. We were so impressed with the film that it was almost a post viewing panic session that we could have missed a film this awesome just because it didn't have any "big names" in it. Jesse Garcia is the next "big name" in Hollywood! Keep your eyes on this guy. His portrayal of a gay Hispanic gang member just blows all stereo types out of the water. Chalo González is a national treasure, and outshines the entire cast as Uncle Thomas. Emily Rios is also a great find, and really does a great job in her first big role. Listening to the writers/directors in person detailing their own experience of moving to Echo Park California, and witnessing the gentrification of the area which inspired the film, made this screening even more sweet. The only flaw that I could find was that I wanted to see more of Magdalena's family, and thought those relationships could have been fleshed out more to better understand why they did the things to her that they did. The entire cast was so approachable after the screening and Q&A, that it made me want to go out and do all their PR work for free! Glatzer and Westmoreland said to look for this film on HBO, so hopefully that will be the case really soon for the general public. Catch it if you can; it's worth the time.
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