Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: La Nina Santa
Argentina/Italy/The Netherlands/Spain, 2004. La Pasionaria S.r.l., R&C Produzioni, Teodora Film, El Deseo, Fondazione Montecinemaverita, Hubert Bals Fund, Lita Stantic Producciones. Screenplay by Lucrecia Martel, contributing writer Juan Pablo Domenech. Cinematography by Felix Monti. Produced by Lita Stantic. Music by Andres Gerszenzon. Production Design by Graciela Oderigo. Costume Design by Julio Suarez. Film Editing by Santiago Ricci.
Poignant character observations more than compensate for a loose plot in this haunting film by Lucrecia Martel. Amalia is a young girl is being raised in a hotel with her mother (Mercedes Morán), who inherited the business (along with her brother) from her parents and is preparing to host a doctor’s convention. After an introverted physician initiates some sexual harassment on Amalia, she takes her Catholic education in hand and makes it her holy mission to save him. Meanwhile, her mother courts the doctor while preparing to participate in a staged consultation for the convention in which her encroaching ear condition is dealt with, completely oblivious to the situation with her daughter. The camerawork is stunning, as is Morán, who has never been more beautiful.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Toronto International Film Festival: 2004