Most Beautiful Island
Directed by Ana Asensio
Most Beautiful Island is a chilling portrait of an undocumented young woman's struggle for survival as she finds redemption from a tortured past in a dangerous game.
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★★★★ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
A short, stressful, and utterly spellbinding debut that transforms the immigrant experience into the stuff of an early Polanski psychodrama, Ana Asensio’s “Most Beautiful Island” is a worthy winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for best narrative feature, and — more importantly — strong evidence of a cinematic juggernaut in the making.
Asensio, a thirtysomething Spanish actress whose work is virtually unseen on these shores, not only wrote, directed, and produced this fraught metropolitan thriller, she also appears in just about every frame. And while the film might begin by suggesting that its heroine was chosen at random (a mesmeric prologue follows seven different women as they weave through the sidewalks of Manhattan, the camera picking them out of a crowd as if to wordlessly reassert that most of the Naked City’s seven million stories remain untold), Asensio’s compulsively watchable lead performance splits the difference between the specific and the representational. She’s an undocumented women of a certain age, and also all of them; never just one or the other. But she’s about to have a night that will force her to forge a unique identity for herself or die trying.
★★★½ review by Ryan on Letterboxd
Some of the most terrifying moments I've seen on screen. I had to physically back away from my computer. And Ana Asensio is fantastic.
★★★★ review by ianjcunningham on Letterboxd
shades of the purge: anarchy in the arthouse realm
asensio milks the dread like a seasoned pro
she's crafted an american nightmare
★★★★½ review by kaarlenberg on Letterboxd
Qué barbaridad. La segunda mitad de esta película es probablemente la secuencia más tensa que he visto en todo el año. Vaya pedazo de debut para Ana Asensio.
★★★½ review by Triz on Letterboxd
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