Starring: Luke Ganalon, Joseph A. Garcia, Miriam Colon
Directed by: Carl Franklin (“One True Thing”)
Written by: Carl Franklin (“Devil in a Blue Dress”)
SAN ANTONIO - Considered the best-selling Chicano novel of all time, Author Rudolph Anaya’s 1972 novel “Bless Me, Ultima” has been waiting patiently for a film adaptation. Taking responsibility to capture the book’s affecting themes and relationship is director Carl Franklin (“One True Thing”). It’s a commendable attempt by Franklin, but one that ultimately falls short under the scope of the story. The most important emotional connections the narrative is supposed to make are sadly missing in a film that never truly commands the screen or feels authentic enough for the era.
Set in New Mexico in the 1940s, “Bless Me, Ultima,” follows the title character, Ultima (Miriam Colon), an elderly woman known as a curandera (a sort of Mexican folk healer) who is brought into the home of a family where she plans to live out the rest of her life. Although many people in the community consider her a witch, Ultima doesn’t allow the rumors she hears about her mystical healing powers to bother her. She is a strong woman and Franklin’s script exhibits her unique traits even though her character turns out to be more secondary in nature. Click here to read the rest of the review...