A Hispanic teenager travels the rough road to adult responsibility earlier than she expected in this independent drama. Magdalena (Emily Rios) is a young Latina who is looking forward to her upcoming quinceaqera celebration -- the 15th birthday party that marks the passage into adulthood for Mexican-American women. Magdalena's expectations are raised by the lavish party her older cousin Eileen (Alicia Sixtos) gets for the occasion, but Magdalena's mother (Araceli Guzman-Rico) and father (Jesus Castanos-Chima) insist on a lower-key affair that will focus on the more responsible aspects of grown-up life. However, Magdalena gets a crash course in that subject when she discovers she's pregnant with the child of her boyfriend, Herman (J.R. Cruz); life at home becomes unbearable for her, and she leaves to live with her more sympathetic uncle, Tio Thomas (Chalo Gonzalez). Home for Tio Thomas and Magdalena is a small apartment in a building owned by James (Jason L. Wood) and Gary (David W. Ross), a gay couple looking to gentrify the neighborhood. Magdalena strikes up a friendship with her cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia), a roughneck teen with a good heart who is also on the outs with his family when they discover he's experimenting with his sexuality. Produced in part by Todd Haynes, Quinceaqera received its premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Even though written by two white guys, I commend them for consulting with Latinos to make this movie as true to the L.A. Latino culture as possible, it brought back memories of my two sister's Quinceaneras. I sort of liked the storyline, I don't know how many gay "cholos" there are out there, but it did bring up some facts of life in the Latino community. I would've liked for them to focus more on the Quinceanera culture and the actual event, I think it could've still won at Sundance. I guess for a "low-budget" flim, the cinematography and acting was pretty-good and gave some up-and-coming Latino actors a chance to shine.
A fine example of "honest" feel-good moviemaking, QUINCEANERA doesn't tie up too many loose ends nor make everythingthing OK for its many characters--most of whom are presented with plenty of warts-and-all detail. The movie's rather unusual combination of Latino and gay concerns may make it a hard sell for anything less than truly sophisticated audiences, however. While this may be disappointing from a mainstream box-office point of view, it's very much to the credit of director/writer duo Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, gay filmmakers who actually present their leading gay characters as neighborhood-busting, nouveau-riche who think nothing of seducing, then evicting, their Latino tenant. But nobody here is all good or all bad; these are people pulled one way then another by passion, economics, family and friends. I think you'll be surprised at how much you come to care about these all these good-to-middling folk--and the lovely movie that's been made about them.
Quinceanera a little movie with big heart was made for just under $250,000 in 2005 and went on to win awards and be the darling of the 2006 Sundance Awards. Quinceanera is a young woman's 'spiritual' coming out party when she is 15 yrs old. This story tells of a young girl (Emily Rios) about to make her Quinceanera and finds she is pregnant. Her preacher father rejects her and she goes to live with her aging great uncle played magnificiantly by Chalo Gonzolez and her street thug cousin who also happens to be gay played equally as impressive by Jesse Garcia. The great uncle shows love and acceptance to his niece and nephew & by that love his entire family has their own Quinceanera of sorts and lesson in love & family.