Review #223 of 365
Film: Quinceañera (2006) [R] 90 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $12.00
Where Viewed: Landmark Esquire Theatre, Denver, CO
When 1st Seen: 22 August 2006
Time: 7:15 p.m.
Soundtrack: Download the soundtrack from now – or - order the CD below
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Memorias de Quinceañera Art Print
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The setting of the film gave unique perspective to the area where Magdalena has grown up, and where Tomas has watched his once inexpensive neighborhood slowly gentrify with skyrocketing rents and land values. The directors have allowed the area and its inhabitants to speak for themselves rather than pushing stereotypes or their own views. This gave the film a more genuine and authentic feeling. The other characters: Magdalena's father Ernesto (Jesus Castaños), mother Maria (Araceli Guzman-Rico) aunt Silvia (Carmen Aguirre), and uncle Walter (Johnny Chavez) were also well portrayed. By far, however, Ms Rios and Mr. Garcia steal the show. Their raw talent comes through giving both Magdalena and Carlos an important edginess that manifests in electric performances. Not to give anything away, but Carlos is charged with a eulogy at one point that will bring even the most strident doubters to tears.
"… remarkable little film … wonderful stories and traditions … will bring even the most strident doubters to tears …"
It is easy to see why this film was a fan favorite at Sundance. My only wish would have been that, indeed, it had been a Cable-TV series instead. I would have preferred to have more time with these characters to watch as their very complex lives unfolded. Moreover, I would like to see where their lives went after this. I realized in part due to the movie that the lives of descendants of immigrants from the Americas are underserved in Television and Movies, so I laud this project for awakening us to the wonderful stories and traditions we have been missing.
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Other Projects Involving Co-Directors/Co-Writers:
Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland
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Quinceañera Review-lite [150-word cap]