Maria Full of Grace


Top 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2004 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega, Guilied Lopez, Jhon Alex Toro, Patricia Rae. Orlando Tobon

Non-Cast Credits

Joshua Marston, Paul Mezey, Jairrre Osorio Gomez, Becky Glupczynski, Jim Denaslt, Lee Percy, Anne McCabe


What constitutes a life of grace? Is it moral piety or exercising goodwill? Or does it spring from acting from one�s heart and desires? Joshua Marston�s auspicious debut feature, Maria Full of Grace, addresses these questions with inspired honesty and clarity.

Spirited and rebellious Maria Alvarez lives with three generations of her family in a cramped concrete house in a rural town north of Bogota. She works alongside her neighbors at a hazardous, mind-numbing job stripping thorns from flowers on a rose plantation. Because Maria�s paycheck supports the family, she is stuck. But her passion to break out of her limited world drives her to posh at its boundaries. When she meets Franklin, a stylish young man, he piques her interest with talk of a cool job that involves travel. However, when Franklin says the word �mule,� Maria realizes immediately what he means: swallowing dozens of thumb-sited rubber pellets full of heroin and transporting them to the United States.

Catalina Sandino Moreno gives an exceptional performance as a young woman facing this crossroads with bravery, grit, and yes�grace. Marston demonstrates a fantastic eye for detail and crafts a narrative with disarming rawness and authenticity. Maria Full of Grace is as important a story as it is an impressive directorial debut.


Shari Frilot (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.