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Film Critics: Today, December 11, winners from New YorkFCOnline, San FranciscoFCC, New MexicoFC, AtlantaFCC, PhiladelphiaFCC, TorontoFCA, BostonSFC. Nominations from St. LouisFCA and ChicagoFCA.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Quinceañera


This is not my usual movie choice to watch, but I have been hearing a lot of noise about this film that I decided to watch it and to my surprise it was a lot better than what I could expected.

For those not familiar with the Quinceañera tradition that some Latin American countries have, let me tell you that is a celebration when a girl reaches fifteen years old. Most countries have sort of “normal” celebrations, but Mexico and Mexican Americans have the most unusual ball type of celebration. It looks more like a prom mixed with a wedding and a debutant ball.

This approximately US$250,000 film is quite impressive as a production, movie, story and most of all, for having great performances by unknown actors. Tells the story of two cousins bonded by a common situation, they have done things that strict (and hypocrite) Latin society disapproves, the girl got pregnant and the guy is gay. The twist is that the girl is still a virgin and the young man has his first experience, even if others think he has done it before.

Directed and co written by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, two “Anglo Americans” makes it even more interesting as their portrait of Mexican Americans looks and feels truly credible and amazingly accurate. Also, the film language is half English, half Spanish just like Mexican Americans in LA speak.

This independent movie became a favorite of American film festivals and is the winner of multiple awards including the John Cassavetes Award at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards, the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

If you like independent movies do not miss this one as it will surprise you beyond what filmmakers always do with Latino stories.

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