Maria Full of Grace

Directed By: Joshua Marston Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno

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Product Overview

Maria, a bright, spirited 17 year old, lives with 3 generations of her family in a cramped house in rural columbia. Desperate to leave her job stripping thorns from flowers in a rose plantation, maria accepts a lucrative offer to transport packets of heroine - which she must swallow - to the U.S.


Studio HBO
SKU 40250808
UPC 026359192722
UPC 14 00026359192722
Format DVD
Release Date 9/29/2009
Rating Rating
Essential Cinema
Non-U.S. Theatrical Release
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note This debut feature film by Joshua Marston tells the suspenseful and absorbing story of Maria, a poor, pregnant Columbian teenager (Catalina Sandina Moreno) with a soul-crushing job at a flower plantation and a rebellious streak. Her multigenerational, all-female family relies too much on her as the principle breadwinner, squandering her earnings on medicines of questionable value for her sister's baby. This drives Maria to quit, dump her immature boyfriend, and go to Bogotá where she tumbles into work as a drug mule. Like thousands of real-life Columbians, she earns money by flying to New York City with up to a kilogram of tightly wrapped heroin pellets in her stomach, risking prison or worse: instant death should even one of the pellets break open inside her. Marston based the film on actual interviews with airport customs agents and former mules; the result is an authentic, intensely cinematic experience. The camera wrings vivid color and mood from the many on-location settings and doesn't shy away from any aspect of Maria's journey, making this succeed as a suspense film, character study, and detailed examination of a rarely seen aspect of the drug wars. Thanks to the superb performance and charisma of lead actress Moreno--in her film debut--the audience stays riveted to her plight every step of the way. MARIA FULL OF GRACE made its debut at Sundance where it won the Audience Drama Award.
Entertainment Weekly "[E]xtraordinary....[The film] unfolds with a simplicity that's as breathtaking as its inevitability is harrowing." 07/23/2004 p.56-7
Rolling Stone "Remember the name Catalina Sandino Moreno. The heartfelt and harrowing performance she gives here should put her in line for a heap of year-end awards." 08/05/2004 p.122
Movieline's Hollywood Life "The movie is every bit as gripping and suspenseful as many far more expensive Hollywood thrillers." 07/01/2004 p.87
Los Angeles Times "Sandino Moreno may be in only her early 20s, but she is able to draw upon her considerable talent and training to create a portrayal that comes from deep within. She has a radiant screen presence..." 07/15/2004 p.E13
Chicago Sun-Times "A human drama of great power..." 12/03/2004 p.11
Sight and Sound "[A] well-crafted, finely acted tale....Moreno's exceptional performance maintains the mix of belligerence and naivete that makes Maria such a contradictory and compelling protagonist." 03/01/2005 p.62-64
Uncut "[Moreno] bolts the movie down with an earthy, spontaneous performance." 04/01/2005 p.138,Ranked #24 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "[I]ts multi-stranded, all-encompassing narrative evokes memories of Steven Soderbergh's TRAFFIC." 01/01/2006 p.82-83
Wall Street Journal "Mr. Marston is a natural dramatist, and, better still, an adventurous one." 05/19/2010
Joshua Marston
Catalina Sandino Moreno
Cast & Crew
Catalina Sandino Moreno - Actor
Jim Denault - Cinematographer
Johanna Andrea Mora - Actor
Joshua Marston - Director
Joshua Marston - Screenplay
Paul S. Mezey - Producer
Virginia Ariza - Actor
Yenny Paola Vega - Actor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2004
Catalog ID 91927
UPC 00026359192722
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 101 minutes
Color Color
Original Language Spanish
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks Spanish
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
DVD, Widescreen, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Sandino,Catalina
Label HBO Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Jeffrey Lyons, NBC ...destined to be one of the most important films of the year.
Lisa Schwartzbaum, Entertainment Weekly A triumphant performance by Cataline Sandino Moreno.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Stunning...a powerhouse film.

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