When it’s over, at what price are you willing to pay for a better life? For Maria Alvarez, the price is to risk her life and the life of her unborn child. Maria Full of Grace centers on the life of a 17 year old who finds herself pregnant, unemployed, and without hope of a future in rural Colombia. In order to support her family, Maria becomes a drug mule by smuggling 62 pellets of cocaine in her stomach to the USA. This award winning film touches on both human and social issues, and I think Writer/Director Joshua Marston does a fantastic job blending the two elements, but he never forgets that the story is first and foremost a human drama about a girl with dreams and hopes who makes some bad decisions along the way. He doesn't stray from Maria's story and takes great care to tell her story with honesty and conviction. The character of Maria feels very real and it was easy for me to empathize with her. I thought Actress Catalina Sandino Moreno did a beautiful job bringing Maria to life and showing her coming of age amidst the dangerous world of drug trafficking. Finally, Marston's choice of shooting the film in documentary style definitely added to the realism, tension, and suspense of the film. Great film to watch. No special effects. No eye candy. Just pure drama.
My rating: 4 out of 5
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