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February 23, 2006

Movie Review: Maria Full of Grace

Filed under: movies, review — suzanne henderson @ 10:20 pm

Maria Full of Grace is a movie about a young woman who becomes a drug smuggling mule. I have mixed opinions about this movie; it includes some heavy issues but it does so a little too superficially. You have elements of religion, poverty, hostile work environments, teen sex and pregnancy, difficult family dynamics, drug running, criminal rights, murder, immigration, and friendship but it just doesn’t come together well enough for me. These are things that can affect one family in great detail, but the movie really tossed them up in the air and let some scatter to the wind and others just rest on the shoulder of the plot without really developing into something more. The title of the movie doesn’t actually hold out for the meaning behind the character of the film, but it certainly had potential to do just that.

This movie is easy to watch and is not a bad movie. On the concept of drug smuggling and being a mule — the process of preparing the drugs, getting them all down, and actually keeping them all in — was fairly well represented and perhaps offered a more humanized view of what that is like. But, it still feels like it was done outside of the realm of the rest of the movie and didn’t really work in holding the movie together. I would recommend the movie to anyone curious about using people as physical carrying cases for drugs, but not as a complete film on the issues surrounding that topic.

October 4, 2003

Book/Movie Review: Girl, Interrupted

Filed under: movies, review, books — suzanne henderson @ 3:44 pm

the book by Susanna Kaysen:

Based on the author’s mental institution hospitalization in the 1960’s. Book is humerous and serious at the same time. The reader is not beat up with everything that is wrong with mental institutions or the reason’s people go there, instead you’re just given one person’s insight on her time in one. Kaysen makes a good point that you can find ‘normal’ people there and some people just get stuck and never leave.

Book is easy to read, great on a rainy afternoon. If you like this one, recommend Just Checking and Prozac Nation.

movie based on the book:

It follows the book perfectly. I couldn’t remember if I saw the movie first or read the book first, either way it doesn’t matter since they are identical. I liked it as much as I like the book, plus Angelina Jolie is in it and that is enough for me.

update: since reading the book/watching the movie and writing this review, I’ve wondered more about some of the concepts in the movie. Mainly because of another movie that I recently watched about a girl that has to go to a convent because she got pregnant but is never able to leave. I don’t recall the title at the moment, but it had me rethinking the physical imprisonment of young girls either in any type of institution.

October 2, 2003

Book/Movie Review: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Filed under: movies, review, books — suzanne henderson @ 3:01 pm

the [book]:

fiction by Rebecca Wells

Wonderful book about mothers, daughters, friends, childhood, and southern tradition. The author does an excellent job of flipping between present and past, different characters, and situations. It is tied together beautifully and well rounded at the end.

I was laughing and crying at the same time. Definitely a stereotypical chic story and a damn good one at that.

the [movie]:

Terrible! Awful! Please, please don’t see this movie, certainly don’t see it if you’ve read the book. The movie doesn’t even come close to pulling through the strong emotions and connections from the book. The Sisterhood needs more than 116 minutes to truly unfold. The producers completely butchered the story and wasted everyone’s time by making this film.