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Movie Review: The Holy Girl (La Nina Santa)

Alternate Title: Pubescent Piety

Story: This sometimes fine, but often tedious film from Argentina revolves around Amalia, a sexually inexperienced sixteen year old Catholic girl, whose teacher encourages her to hear a calling from God so life will have meaning. She decides that her divine calling is to try to change the man who has rubbed his genitals against her in a crowded street.

Second time director and writer Lucrecia Martel (La Cienaga) sets this morality play inside a rundown hotel where our teenager lives with her embittered recently divorced mother and Uncle who runs the place. A medical conference is taking place in the Hotel where our molester is one of the attendees. Confusion dominates the film as many characters intersect.

The film is shot with many close-ups and claustrophobic scenes. At times it was hard to breathe just watching it. There seemed to be no beginning and no real ending to the film. It was fascinating to watch in many ways but in the end ...there was just no there, there.

Acting: All of the actors are terrific.

Predilection: None.

Food: Chicken

Visual Art: Tacky hotel art.

Theater Audience: A handful of other confused viewers.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 1

Squirm Scale: Sexual molestation is squirmy.

Drift Factor: I looked at my watch quite a few times.

Predictability Level: I did not know where this was going (and I am not sure really what happened at the end).

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: This film maker has great potential but needs to be a better storyteller.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: Under two hours

LOBO HOWLS: 5