El Milagro de Marcelino Pan Y Vino

Did you catch that?
(Brian saw the title of this post and asked, "So are you trying to go all GOP and reach out to your Hispanic contingent?" No, but perhaps I should go by Maria once in a while.  Just because.)

No, no pandering here.  The folks at Mission Pictures asked if I would like to review their new film El Milagro de Marcelino Pan Y Vino and I very happily agreed.  The film was released this past year and tells the story of a little boy named Marcelino who is abandoned as a newborn outside the doors of a Mexican monastery during the time of the Mexican revolution.  From what I understand the whole story is a remake of the 1955 film of the same name and is based on an old Mexican legend.  Marcelino is brought up in the monastery and the film depicts his life there as a mischievous little boy amidst the brothers.  Life there is happy yet their desire for peace is interrupted by the violent revolution.  During an attack Marcelino witnesses his best friend killed and dying in the arms of his mother.  He flees to the forbidden attic of the monastery and there he discovers a statue of Jesus.  It is here where a miracle takes place.  Moved by Marcelino's innocent faith and offerings of bread and wine the Lord speaks through the statue and ultimately fulfills Marcelino's deepest longing.

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first.  I don't often go for explicitly Catholic or Christian films because they often contain, shall we say, less skilled acting and writing.  I say that regretfully, of course.  But there is a reason this film received Best Director at both the Mirabile Dictu Catholic Film Festival and the Vatican Film Festival in 2011.  It also received five doves from The Dove Foundation.  

I found the film to be incredibly well done and professional, a work of art that is decidedly skilled yet unashamedly Catholic.  The movie is in Spanish and even with the subtitles I found it a compelling and an extremely well directed film.  The acting is believable, the story is charming, and I was drawn into the characters and plot much more than I was expecting.  At one point I was in tears, moved by the heartbreak of the mother of Marcelino's friend Enrique.   At others I was laughing out loud, especially during the scenes of the friars with the baby and then of their attempts to raise a mischievous little boy!  Even the portrayal of the speaking statue which I was sort of bracing myself to be rather cheesy was not and I found myself wanting to be in that attic with little Marcelino experiencing the miracle.  

Marcelino's character is adorable and his antics and personality and impishness with the monks is delightful.  He did tend to mumble, which irked me a little bit, but I suppose that may even make it more believable (how often have I told my own children not to mumble?) and considering I was relying on subtitles anyway, it didn't affect my overall experience of the film much.  At the end of the film I was hoping it would continue with the story but I think the director probably made the best choice to end it where he did.  I always do that when I enter into a good book or movie, though.  Who doesn't want the story to keep going?

I would definitely recommend El Milagro as a compelling and inspirational film, though I would definitely warn that it is not for young children.  The story itself contains ideas and plot lines that are too complex for a younger child.  There are several violent scenes as well as a non-graphic birth scene.  I would think that it would have to wait until at least 12 years of age to be appropriate.  For those who are interested, you can purchase the film at the film website www.elmilagrodemarcelino.com.  
Tell them Maria sent you :)

1 comment

  1. Looks good! I will have to check it out . . . I saw the black and white version YEARS ago and do not remember it very well.