Writer-director Joshua Marston’s drama Maria Full of Grace — about a young Colombian woman (a luminous Catalina Sandino Moreno) who attempts to break out of her impoverished life by becoming a drug mule — is riveting and heartbreaking. The same can be said of Marston’s commentary, which occasionally haunts with true-life stories of heartbreak gathered as part of his extensive research. His commentary (a must for aspiring film students) is also a compellingly in-depth account of how a wobbly-sounding drug-war polemic evolved into something more intimate and subtle. The first-time feature director was — as he repeatedly points out — immensely aided by a gifted, improvisatory cameraman and cast. But he was also artist enough to mold his footage into a taut spiral of heightened emotions that feels bracingly real.
Genre: Foreign Language, Drama; Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Guilied Lopez, Patricia Rae, Orlando Tobon, Yenny Paola Vega; Director: Joshua Marston; Author: Joshua Marston; Release Date Wide: 07/16/2004; Runtime (in minutes): 101; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Fine Line Features
Posted December 7 2004 — 12:00 AM EST
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