QUINCEANERA | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Ironically, on the eve of her quinceañera ... a frilly celebration held to welcome 15-year-old girls into womanhood ... Magdalena (Emily Rios) is thrust rudely into adulthood. Pregnant and betrayed, she moves in to a tiny apartment with her oddball elderly uncle, Tomas, and her shiftless cousin Carlos. In Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's small film, that the outcast trio form their own family is to be expected; it's a development that is underplayed nicely and provides the story's few emotional payoffs. But as a larger portrait of Magdalena's Echo Park neighborhood, a working-class Hispanic area of Los Angeles under assault from gentrification, the film is less subtle, particularly in its melding of Carlos' relationship with a careless, casually cruel white gay couple, obsessed with rising property values. Quinceañera also flirts with critiquing the increasing commercialization of contemporary Hispanic culture (the old-school holy cards of Tí­o Tomas vs. the Hummer limo) but barely makes a dent. In English, and Spanish, with subtitles. (AH)

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