Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by
Village Voice
As a rumination on the experiences of undocumented immigrants, Most Beautiful Island presents an extreme example of what people will do to scrape by — but it does so without belittling its vulnerable characters.
Creating a lucid sense of reality only so that she can defile it with a wicked pivot towards madness, Asensio’s film creates a vision of immigrant life in America (and its value) that’s all the more urgent for how it uses genre elements to exaggerate the experience.
The movie’s payoff is every bit as delicious as its build-up.
Dark corners of the immigrant experience in New York City, especially for women, are frighteningly dramatized in Ana Asensio’s suspense film Most Beautiful Island, a modest but effective writing-directing debut.
Many genre movies in which bad things happen to women end with them fighting back, but here, as people surely would in real life, they just take the money and run.
What makes Most Beautiful Island standout, however, is that it isn’t just about desperation.
There's much to admire about Most Beautiful Island, with its highly original spin on the immigrant survival story and its compelling protagonist, whose fate remains raw, urgent and real even as she's pulled into outré movie-ish weirdness. Despite some missteps, there are enough strengths to mark this as a promising debut.
The pivotal scenes may be fictionalised, but the prickling, precarious threat is clammily authentic and inspired by the experiences of the film’s writer, director and star, Ana Asensio, as an undocumented Spanish immigrant eking out an existence in New York.
Most Beautiful Island summons viewers into its seductive web, lashing out with teeth-grinding tension when you least expect it.
Anchored by Asensio's fearless and gripping performance, Most Beautiful Island directs an unflinching point of view toward an often invisible population.

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