Big-hearted coming-of-age story
Opens January 31, Cert 12A, 90 mins
When 18-year-old Ana Garcia (America Ferrera) graduates from high school, her Mexican family ignore the school’s insistence that she apply to study at college, and instead put her to work at her sister’s sweat-shop in downtown Los Angeles.
Ana’s family left Mexico for a better life in the United States only to find hardship, and her mother is adamant that Ana will live the factory life, too. But Ana wants more. So when she gets offered a place at Columbia on a scholarship, she has to choose between her family and her ambitions.
First-time director Patricia Cardoso’s lovely little film (winner of the audience award and the special jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival) portrays Ana’s struggle to break free against the colourful backdrop of Mexican Los Angeles. Boasting a great Mexican soundtrack, a warm script, rich characters and Ferrera’s brooding, intense performance (reminiscent of Michelle Rodriguez in Girlfight), this is a voluptuous film with curves in all the right places.