Year of release: 2006
Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Stars: Emily Rios, Jesse Garcia, Chalo Gonzalez, David W. Ross, Jason L. Wood, J.R. Cruz, Araceli Guzman-Rico, Jesus Castanos
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Synopsis:Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's "Quinceanera"made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, where it won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize. The film follows 14 year old Magdalena, who we see at the begining of the film attending her cousin's Quinceanera, a rite of passage for girls who turn 15 and become young women. Magdalena has a boyfriend, whom with she has experienced some sexual intimacy, but without ever losing her virginity. When she appears pregnant, her father who is a preacher, doesn't believe Magdalena's explanations, forcing her to go live with a great-uncle and her outcast gay cousin, Carlos. Their little house is a rental that belongs to a wealthy gay couple, who get involved with Carlos with some unexpected results. The film smartly focuses on the mexican community, the sense of family that unites them and the traditions that define them. The Quinceanera rite that symbolizes the entry point to a new stage of a young girl's life, ends up being a catalyst for a series of characters, from the gay cousin who learns that love is more complicated than it appears, for Magdalena who learns her father is just another man with his shortcomings, for her elderly uncle that unites them all in his death. This is a small gem of a film, that details the life of a family, in a country that doesn't necessarily understands them, but which they call home. And that's all these characters are looking for. Worth seeing!