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.
★★★★ review by Rachael on Letterboxd
I have absolute chills down my back. Arachnophobia is real, kids, and it lies all through me watching this.
A superb directorial debut by a powerhouse female who did it all. Amazing. Probably one of the most nerve wracking movies I've seen all year!
★★★½ review by 📼 Roy Parker 📼 on Letterboxd
"America" From West Side Story Sounds *So* Creepy In A Minor Key
★★★★ review by Tyler on Letterboxd
Harrowing, taut, utterly impressive filmmaking and performance by Ana Asensio, and totally deserving of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize
★★★★ review by TraceSauveur on Letterboxd
A truly intimate and frightening look at the life of undocumented immigrants in America, and the true meaning/cost of the American Dream when you're stuck in a place where you're made to feel like you don't belong. Director/star Ana Asensio started tearing up at the Q&A afterwards cementing this as a personal piece of work from a place of raw fear and emotion. I really hope this finds distribution.
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