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Francisco X, Gutierrez | Phoenix, AZ USA | 02/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Evelina Fernandez's writing is superb, she takes you on a thrilling emotional rollercoaster ride. Through the slump of a divorce and the exciting high of dating a new love, and everthing in between. The film brought back fond memories of growing up Latino, I felt like I had just revisited my old friends and familia. The characters portray the complete Latino spectrum; from the savvy vato performed masterfully by Cheech Marin to the wanna be gabacha played by the wonderful Marta DuBois. Dyana Ortelli, Angela Moya and Lupe Ontiveros are hilarious and turn in outstanding performances. When you're not crying you'll be laughing uncontrollably. Robert Beltran is very believable as the scoundrel husband. Sal Lopez is a convincing Mexican mesero who is tenacious in his pursuit of DuBois' character. Truly one of the few well put together and enjoyable films in a long time. Latinas will have to get together for a "Luminarias" slumber party and talk about men until the wee hours of the morning. I'm looking forward to more movies from this group of top-notch performers."
Funny; Great Characters; Light; Entertaining; Truthful
Vivian Charbonnet | New Orleans, Louisiana United States | 11/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie last night by chance (there was nothing else on TV) and I am very glad I did. Even though I am not Mexican American I am a hispanic woman and this movie showed a side of us that many people don't see. First of all these women were not your stereotypical latinas we see on screen such as gang bangers, prostitutes, poor and uneducated, instead the're just the opposite but with the hangups that plague most minority women. I know because as a latina growing up in the South during the 60's I always felt the same way. I attended private Catholic schools and it was hell, the white girls felt I was too brown so friendship was out and the black kids I came in contact with also gave me the cold shoulder so for a long time I felt displaced. As a result I did everything I needed to do to have a great education and make money. But the price was high. It is only now that I'm trying to get back to my roots.
This movie also shows a lot of the problems women in general have to deal with specially those of us who are independent and of strong will. And as for those who thought the male characters were flat and two dimensional, they need to realize that the movie was about the women. By the way, I thought portrayal of "cholo" the professor was a great depiction of how many of us judge people by the way they look instead of who they really are."
Provocative Cinema About Successful Latinas...
yygsgsdrassil | Crossroads America | 11/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"....four beautiful, successful, (did I say beautiful?) Latin ladies struggle with life and love in modern day L.A. One of the few movies mostly written, produced and directed by Latin Americans for english speaking viewers. There's zip in the intial discussions Andrea have with her lawyer-rival, Scott Bakula and when the next day the four women all meet in Andrea's office...There's plenty of humour and fun, also. Like, during a cook out we meet Andrea's brother, Jesus, (played with charm by Cheech Marin) who looks like he could be a drug dealer turns out to be a professor of philosophy at the university while the guy who looks as if he could be a professor--or a used car salesman--turns out to be the dealer. Central to the story is a custody case where lovely Liz Torres shows up as the presiding judge in the courtroom. The case involves Andrea's less educated, but spunky legal secretary. Andrea has fallen for the opposing lawyer (Bakula), so she helps her secretary find other representation...There could have problems with conflict of interest, Andrea says. But when the secretary finds out of Andrea's involvement with the opposing lawyer, it all smacks of treachery and sell-out. Which, overall, if you think about it a bit, ends up symbolising the questions anybody from the non-dominant culture has to confront when they are awarded great success and others from the same neighborhood have yet to arrive at the same stature in life...The movie is an entertaining look at what goes on in the psyche of Latina America."
Brenda Bustamante | Carrizo Springs, Texas USA | 09/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great characterizations of Latinas in today modern world of high pressure jobs and high demanding relationships. The feature combines them both along with the longstanding inner struggle with Latina indentity and male machismo. It hit the nail on the head. Admirable script and characters not to mention the quality of actors.
Great job guys."
A Great Example of What Latino Audiences Need!
Imelda C. Cantu-Walker | Austin, TX United States | 03/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Seldom have I seen a movie that was a sleeper where I had to patiently wait as long as I did for it to be out on DVD! I'm glad it is finally out I worried that it would never be out! I have been looking for Luminarias since shortly after I viewed it at one of the very few local theatres that featured this wonderful movie. I viewed it with a fellow latina who also loved it. No explanation can do it justice it is just a wonderful portrayal of the latino operational & biological family dynamic! It encompasses the beauty and shortcomings in our culture group as well as the many facets surrounding many of our interpersonal relationships. The movie's flavoring with just the right Spanish language words made it unique and no one will be able to duplicate this movie. Not to take away from Waiting to Exhale but I disagree that it was a latino version of Waiting to Exhale... it can stand on its own merits it doesn't need and should not be compared. Latina women will likely be able to appreciate it a bit more due to many of its unique cultural aspects."