6.7/10
3,242
38 user 78 critic

The Holy Girl (2004)

La niña santa (original title)
R | | Drama | 6 May 2004 (Argentina)
16-year-old Amalia looks to save the soul of a middle-aged doctor.

Director:

Lucrecia Martel

Writers:

Juan Pablo Domenech (contributing writer), Lucrecia Martel

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4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mercedes Morán ... Helena
Carlos Belloso Carlos Belloso ... Dr. Jano
Alejandro Urdapilleta Alejandro Urdapilleta ... Freddy
María Alche María Alche ... Amalia
Julieta Zylberberg ... Josefina
Mía Maestro ... Inés
Marta Lubos Marta Lubos ... Mirta
Arturo Goetz Arturo Goetz ... Dr. Vesalio
Alejo Mango Alejo Mango ... Dr. Cuesta
Mónica Villa ... Madre de Josefina
Leandro Stivelman Leandro Stivelman ... Julian
Manuel Schaller Manuel Schaller ... Thermin player
Miriam Diaz Miriam Diaz ... Miriam
Rodolfo Cejas Rodolfo Cejas ... Josefina's father
Maria Victoria Mosca Coll Maria Victoria Mosca Coll ... Local girl
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Storyline

ENT physicians gather at a provincial hotel in Salta. The hotel owner, Helena, is subdued, brittle, avoiding the calls of her ex-husband's pregnant wife. Family dysfunction seems everywhere. Helena's daughter, Amalia, about 14, discusses vocations in a Catholic girls group. Their teen imaginations conflate the erotic, the religious, and the lurid. Amalia notices Dr. Jano, and he notices her. She decides to make him her vocation, she follows him, he rubs against her in a public crowd, he's appalled at his actions. Meanwhile, Helena believes Jano is attracted to her even though he's married. Longing, guilt, scandal, and teen sensuality are set to collide. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Argentina | Italy | Netherlands | Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

6 May 2004 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

The Holy Girl See more »

Filming Locations:

Salta, Argentina

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ARS 75,013 (Argentina), 11 May 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,327, 1 May 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$304,124, 4 July 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'La niña santa' (The Holy Girl) stars María Alché and is directed by Lucrecia Martel. Both Maria and Lucrecia graduated from the same film school, ENERC. See more »

Soundtracks

Cara de Gitana
Written by AMRI / Justiniano Orquera / Rubén Lotes
Performed by Daniel Magal
See more »

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User Reviews

Stunning and disturbing!
27 August 2004 | by deneuve2See all my reviews

Director and co-writer, Lucrecia Martel (Argentina, 1966), has certainly re-written the Lolita story. But this time, the older male finds a more complex younger female in his way. The world is small and certainly claustrophobic, mainly a hotel with mineral baths somewhere in the Santiago del Estero region in Argentina called Las Termas. Tourists come and go into this hotel where all employees form a kind of extended family. Amalia, played by María Alché,is a 15 year-old immersed in the study of catechism and sexual awakening. The great question becomes that of vocation, "what does God wishes me to do." Dr. Jano, played by Carlos Belloso, attends a professional medical conference at Las Termas and engages in improper sexual conduct in a public street of the small town. Once discovered by Amalia, his remorse grows as things become more and more entangled. Amalia and Dr. Jano engage in a mesmerizing game of hide and seek, of desire to redeem and fear of the consequences of losing anonymity.

La niña santa is a haunting film, beautifully shot and full of complex nuances as well as tension. It left me with a sense of "what happened here?" Regarding its director, Pedro Almodovar (one of the film's executive producers) as said that she knows is part of his list of favorite film directors. Perhaps he sees in Martel's work the subtleties that he himself lacks.


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