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A Hispanic teenager travels the rough road to adult responsibility earlier than she expected in this independent drama. Magdalena Emily Rios is a young Latina who is looking forward to her upcoming quinceañera celebration -- the 15th birthday party that marks the passage into adulthood for Mexican-American women. Magdalena's expectations are raised by the lavish party her older cousin Eileen Alicia Sixtos gets for the occasion, but Magdalena's mother Araceli Guzman-Rico and father Jesus Castanos-Chima insist on a...
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A Hispanic teenager travels the rough road to adult responsibility earlier than she expected in this independent drama. Magdalena Emily Rios is a young Latina who is looking forward to her upcoming quinceañera celebration -- the 15th birthday party that marks the passage into adulthood for Mexican-American women. Magdalena's expectations are raised by the lavish party her older cousin Eileen Alicia Sixtos gets for the occasion, but Magdalena's mother Araceli Guzman-Rico and father Jesus Castanos-Chima insist on a lower-key affair that will focus on the more responsible aspects of grown-up life. However, Magdalena gets a crash course in that subject when she discovers she's pregnant with the child of her boyfriend, Herman J.R. Cruz; life at home becomes unbearable for her, and she leaves to live with her more sympathetic uncle, Tio Thomas Chalo Gonzalez. Home for Tio Thomas and Magdalena is a small apartment in a building owned by James Jason L. Wood and Gary David W. Ross, a gay couple looking to gentrify the neighborhood. Magdalena strikes up a friendship with her cousin Carlos Jesse Garcia, a roughneck teen with a good heart who is also on the outs with his family when they discover he's experimenting with his sexuality. Produced in part by Todd Haynes, Quinceañera received its premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
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Special Features

Commentary with filmmakers and cast; Behind-the-scenes featurette; Los Angeles premiere featurette; Bonus scene 'Mis Quince Anos'
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Set in Los Angeles' Latino-dominated Echo Park neighborhood, this spirited coming-of-age drama boasts endearing characters, unpredictable situations, and occasionally audacious direction. The film introduces Magdalena (Emily Rios), who is preparing for her Quinceañera -- the 15th birthday celebration signifying the onset of adulthood -- and accommodating the desires of her thrifty and devout parents (Araceli Guzman-Rico and Jesus Castanos-Chima). But when she becomes pregnant by her boyfriend, Herman (J. R. Cruz), she flees from her family and moves in with kindly old great-uncle Tio Tomás (Chalo Gonzalez), who rents a cramped apartment in the building owned by a gay “power couple” (David W. Ross and Jason L. Wood). Tio also provides shelter for Magdalena’s surly cousin, Carlos (Jesse Garcia), who’s been exiled from his family for exploring the gay lifestyle. Directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland maintain a delicate balance in portraying flawed but ultimately lovable principal characters. More importantly, they elicit subdued, naturalistic performances from obviously inexperienced actors; Rios is especially good, but Garcia shows real acting “chops” in a difficult scene that charts his reaction to a tragic loss. The film’s depiction of the Latino lifestyle and customs approaches documentary fidelity and offers insights not often found in films intended for Anglo audiences. A true gem, Quinceañera does have a specific viewer in mind: one with an open heart.
All Movie Guide
Moviegoers have seen plenty of movies about Los Angeles. That's where the screenwriters and studio execs live, so for 90 to 100 minutes, audiences live there, too. But they haven't seen this Los Angeles before, the version presented in Quinceanera. The film focuses on the Latino neighborhood of Echo Park, whose steady gentrification is both a plot point, and a real-world indication that it may soon become a setting safely homogenized for mainstream cinema. Writer-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland take a girl's 15th birthday celebration, a rite of passage similar to a Southern debutante ball, as a jumping off point to examine this vibrant part of the L.A. landscape that's rarely documented on film. And they do this surprisingly effectively, given that their backgrounds in gay cinema (Fluffer, Gay Republicans) may have made that part of the story more interesting to them. The two worlds collide in the character of Carlos (Jessie Garcia). The first shot of Carlos shows a gang tattoo on the back of his neck, so viewers might expect a heavy-handed look at a clichéd character type given to violent outbursts. But Garcia and his directors really humanize Carlos, surprising the audience with his homosexuality while refraining from making him a saint. Also quite astute is the film's dialogue, a hodgepodge of English and Spanish that recognizes the inevitable dual heritage of these characters. This pre-existing cultural displacement only becomes more pronounced when the scandals of Carlos and Magdalena (Emily Rios) ostracize them from their families. When their great-uncle Tio (Chalo Gonzalez) -- deservedly portrayed as a saint in this case -- assembles together this makeshift family of outcasts, it's a touching display of blind acceptance. Quinceanera may occasionally paint in broad strokes, but it tells its small story with warmth and respect, making it a true find.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/9/2007
  • UPC: 043396163089
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 42,697

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Emily Rios Magdalena
Jesse Garcia Carlos
Chalo Gonzalez Tio Tomas
J.R. Cruz Herman
Johnny Chávez Uncle Walter
Jason L. Wood
Jesus Castanos-Chima Ernesto
David W. Ross Gary
Araceli Guzman-Rico
James L. Wood James
Teresa-Michelle Ruiz
Alicia Sixtos Eileen
Lisette Avila Jessica
Hector Quevedo Dancing Boy
German Zavala The Quinceañera's Male Escort
Carlos Linares Videographer
Margarita Lugo Aunt Candy
Veronica Sixtos Young Girl
Valentin Martinez Medina Flower Seller
Bertha Flamenco Aunt Sandra
Jorge Ortiz DJ
Jasiel Flamenco Magdalena's Brother
Alexandra Escamilla Tiny Girl
Marlene Flamenco Young Mom
Martha Orloff Neighbour
Frankie Loyal Bouncer
Aris Taylor Jasmine
Rebecca López Wendy
Alex Sánchez Uncle Juan
Blanca Reyes Maria's Mother
Bob Murphy Flirty Guy
Micah Schifman Tony
James Claude Stephen
Dane Rosselli Simon
Daniel Vasquez Alejandro
Anthony Mendoza Bass Player
Danny Álvarez Drummer
Terah Gisolo Punky Girl
Laura Ann Masura Alternative Girl
Andy Bishop Dinner Party Guest
Ingrid Eggertsen Artsy Lady
Art Aroustamian Car Wash Manager
Angela Muller Frantic Lady
Yvonne Majica-Nelson Melancholy Lady
Johnny B. Slumlord
Joanie Tomsky Doctor
Arthur H Dog
Joey Maan Yee-man Dog
Nancy Badillo The Quinceañera Court
Leslie Campos The Quinceañera Court
Mario Galvez The Quinceañera Court
Mercia García The Quinceañera Court
Diego Pablo The Quinceañera Court
Jason Rodriguez The Quinceañera Court
Carmen Aquirre
Technical Credits
Richard Glatzer Director, Screenwriter
Wash Westmoreland Director, Screenwriter
Victor Bock Score Composer
Nicholas T. Boyias Executive Producer
Ted Campbell Asst. Director
Anne Clements Producer
Jessica Flaherty Costumes/Costume Designer
Denise Hudson Production Designer
Robin Katz Editor
Mihail Koulakis Executive Producer
Jonah Markowitz Production Designer
Avi Raccah Executive Producer
Andrew Salazar Costumes/Costume Designer
J. Evan Shapiro Associate Producer
Eric Steelberg Cinematographer
Todd Haynes Executive Producer
Mondo Vila Sound/Sound Designer
Jason L. Wood Casting
Shaun Terence Young Musical Direction/Supervision
Clay Zimmerman Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Quinceanera
1. Showtime [3:50]
2. Behind the Scenes [2:48]
3. A Bailar! [3:51]
4. The Hummer Limo [3:15]
5. The Bench [3:17]
6. House Warming [3:19]
7. Next Top Quinceañera [2:31]
8. Trouble Maker [4:18]
9. Loss for Words [3:42]
10. The Dress [3:55]
11. The Test [3:15]
12. Echo Parke! [2:49]
13. Who's the Father? [2:44]
14. Trying to Help [3:02]
15. Strong Swimmers [2:48]
16. Cinco de Mayo [3:55]
17. Barbeque [3:07]
18. Not in Service [3:47]
19. Talk of the School [3:13]
20. After 28 Years [3:45]
21. New Shirt [3:37]
22. Making Plans [2:37]
23. New Home [1:36]
24. The Shrine [2:32]
25. The Miracle [1:46]
26. Carlos Steps Up [3:02]
27. Science and Religion [1:27]
28. La Quinceañera [6:37]
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Disc #1 -- Quinceanera
   Play Movie
         English (English/Spanish Mix)
         Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary With the Filmmakers and Cast: On
      Commentary With the Filmmakers and Cast: Off
      On the Red Carpet With Quinceañera
      The Making of Quinceañera
      Mis Quince Años
         Curse of the Golden Flower
         The Italian
         The Quiet
         El Crimen Del Padre Amaro
         Celestine Prophecy
         House of Sand
         Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
         Driving Lessons
      Curse of the Golden Flower
      The Italian
      The Quiet
      El Crimen Del Padre Amaro
      Celestine Prophecy
      House of Sand
      Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
      Driving Lessons
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Surely one of the Finest Films of the Year

    'Quinceañera' is a little miracle of a film. Written and directed by the sensitive team of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland ('The Fluffer', 'Grief') this independent film garnered many awards at the Sundance Festival and rightly so. For the first time a film about the Latino community in Los Angeles is presented without the usual onerous stereotypes but instead with all the idiosyncrasies of a culture within a culture that respects place, time, extended family, the individual choices that demand courage, and the wondrously warm festivities and traditions that make this part of Los Angeles milieu so unique and special. Made on a budget of around $250,000. with the money being raised by producers who solely believed in an idea (no script was ready at the time of solicitation of support) presented Glatzer and Westmoreland who lived in the Echo Park area of downtown LA and had witnessed the traditional coming of age at 15 with the special presentation to society of girls becoming women called Quinceañera: they felt a story was there. Gathering a cast of both known and unknown actors who felt as committed to the concept as the production team, Glatzer and Westmoreland wrote the script as the film progressed, using extemporaneous lines from the cast on set as part of the atmosphere. The end product is a loving, unpretentious, realistic story rendered without the slightest trace of treacle or overindulgence in histrionics or false sentimentality. Magdalena (a strong Emily Rios) is 14, awaiting her quinceañera, knowing that her family cannot afford the extravagance of the event in which she has just been a participant. Her father is a preacher and will not consider spending money for a new dress or a limo for her party and while her mother supports Magdalena's wants, she succumbs to the realities of the finances of the family. Magdalena has a young boyfriend Herman (J.R. Cruz) and though they are careful with intimacy, Magdalena becomes pregnant without penetration. When her family discovers her pregnancy, no one will believe she is still in fact a virgin and she is castigated by her father (Jesus Castanos) and thrown from her home. Herman loves her but obeys his mother's wishes that he complete school and he leaves Echo Park, deserting Magdalena. Magdalena finds solace with her great granduncle Tio Tomas Alvarez (a brilliant Chalo González) who lives in back of a property in a home filled with love, memories, kindness, and tradition. He has also taken in the young pseudo-gansta Carlos (an impressively strong and hunky Jesse Garcia) who discovers he is gay when he comes out with the gay couple (David Ross and Jason L. Wood) who own the property in front of Tio's little place. Gradually Magdalena and Carlos bond under the influence of their Tio Tomas, learning the important life lessons of family and self respect, healing from the injuries that are similar to the disappointments of Tio Tomas' past. It is the manner in which these three become a strong extended family, mutually supportive, that is the strength of the story, and when Tio Tomas suffers yet another disappointment in his life, he at age 81 dies quietly, leaving Magdalena and Carlos the richer for their time with him. The supporting cast, drawn from professional actors, local theater and from the people of Echo Park, is uniformly strong and presents an unfettered sense of realism to the film. There are many exemplary moments: Magdalena and her father argue over her pregnancy in a bilingual fashion - the father screams in Spanish and Magdalena screams back in English, a finely integrated demonstration of the crossing of language and culture so well presented in the film Carlos' eulogy at Tio Tomas' funeral is one of the more powerful monologues on film and is superbly delivered by the very talented Jesse Garcia finally a look at the gay Spanish population so taboo in other films, again due to the fine acting of Garcia with Ross and Woo

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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