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53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As Magdalena's (Emily Rios) 15th birthday approaches, her working class family prepares for the all-important QUINCEAÑERA - a lavish coming-of-age celebration. To help with expenses, Magdalena is forced to wear a hand-me-down party dress and abandon her dream of arriving in a Hummer limousine. But when her father discovers she's pregnant and refuses to believe the incredible truth - she's actually still a virgin - Magdalena moves in with her elderly Uncle Tomas (Chalo González) and black sheep cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia). Her newfound family is soon put to the test, however, when an unexpected crisis threatens to tear them apart, and Magdalena learns what it truly means to come of age.


A Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winner, Quinceañera is a small film with a big heart. The plot unfolds at the leisurely pace of life itself, yet there's not a wasted moment in the script. The story follows the travails of young Magdalena (Emily Rios), a teen in the Mexican-American, but gentrifying, Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park. As Magdalena's 15th birthday approaches, and the festive coming-of-age quinceañera party that accompanies it, life throws her a curve ball in the form of an unexpected--and possibly miraculous--pregnancy. In disgrace, she turns to her elderly uncle Tomas and sometime gangbanger and not-quite-uncloseted gay cousin Carlos. The interactions of these unlikely family members ring completely true, with stellar performances by Dios as well as Chalo González as her warm Tio Tomas and Jesse Garcia as the smoldering Carlos. The portrayal of life in Echo Park is intimate and effortless, as the teens slide interchangeably between Spanish and English; crime and gang activities coexist with trendy gay couples and their fashionable remodels. And in the heart of it all, the family ties among the three lead characters prove unconventional--and unbreakable. The DVD also contains a commentary with the filmmakers and cast members, a Q&A with them, and a "making-of" featurette. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

  • Deleted Scene
  • Commentary with the Filmmakers and Cast
  • "On the Red Carpet with Quinceañera" featurette
  • "The Making of Quinceañera" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Emily Rios, Jesse Garcia, Chalo González, Jesus Castanos, Araceli Guzman-Rico
  • Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
  • Writers: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
  • Producers: Anne Clements, Avi Raccah, J. Evan Shapiro, Mihail Koulakis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K2Q7CI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,661 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Quinceanera" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2007
Format: DVD
'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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE RANNIE on February 26, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Upon viewing Quinceañera, I can see why this small, made in three weeks, low budgeted ($250,000) film has garnered so many rave reviews. It is a truly heart warming film that has a marvelous and realistic bi-lingual script (Spanish and English with subtitles for ths parts in Spanish) it is wonderfully directed and MOST OF ALL, it has a GREAT bunch of actors giving GREAT performances. More importantly, for me, the movie gave me a cozy and warm feeling like one gets when one gets a comforting hug from a well thought of relative.

Emily Rios, as Magdalena is so very good! She at one moment is a very brash and sassy 15 year old Los Angeles teen eagerly awaiting the celebration--the Quinceañera. The next minute she is strong and resilient when faced with some nasty realities that life can dish out to us all. I fully expect Emily Rios to go on to be one of this country's greatest actresses. She is really that good. I adored Jesse Garcia, as her cousin Carlos--on the outside a heavily tattooed, willing to use his fists, pot-smoking thug but possessing a big heart that is capable of deep love for his elderly Uncle Tomas, capable of falling deeply in love and also capable of showing fierce family loyalties and willing to take on extreme responsibilities for his cousin after they all end up living under "one roof". I too expect great things in the acting department from Jesse. Chalo González, as Uncle Tomas is also great as the person that loves his family members no matter what they are doing or have done. In fact, everyone that appears in this film gives an outstanding performance.

I must add that the photography is great and the sound tract is fabulous ranging from Verdi's Aida to "Hip Hop" with loads of wonderful "Salsa" thrown in.

If you want to get a warm feeling from a film, buy this movie.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jesus Patino on March 8, 2007
Format: DVD
The movie "Quinceanera" has all the qualities that make an Independant film an exceptional experience. The story gives the Mexican culture of

celebrating a girls coming of age on her 15th birthday an unexpected emotional and entertaining twist that will provoke feelings of joy,sadness and understanding. As a bonous the DVD gives you an interesting look into the making of the movie and how it came together.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By thornhillatthemovies.com VINE VOICE on August 8, 2006
Magdalena (Emily Rios), a young girl living with her family in Echo Park, a predominantly Hispanic area of Los Angeles, attends her cousin's fifteenth birthday, her Quinceanera, and she dreams of having an equally elaborate affair to celebrate her birthday in a few months. Flirting with her boyfriend, Herman, she kisses and hugs him, but doesn't go all the way. Her aunt offers to let her wear her cousin's dress because her family really can't afford an elaborate affair. She also offers to alter the dress for Magdalena. During the fitting, the fourteen year old realizes she is gaining weight. Soon, it becomes apparent she is pregnant. But her father, a preacher and part time security guard, doesn't believe she has never had sex and she leaves the home. Her great uncle Tomas (Chalo Gonzalez) takes her in and she becomes a part of the extended household which already includes her other cousin, Carlos (Jesse Garcia), a drift less young man who works at the local car wash, spends afternoons smoking pot, and was thrown out of his house for being gay.

"Quinceanera", written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, is a very good, very moving independent film which won the Grand Jury prize and the Audience award at the last Sundance Film Festival. You have never heard of Glatzer and Westmoreleand? They got their start in gay porn. Based on the quality of work shown in this film, I eagerly look forward to their next work. Errr... their next Independent film.

The key to the success of this film is the performances, particularly Emily Rios' portrayal of Magdalena. The character seems entirely natural and believable and I have to wonder if this is Rios' first film. I strongly suspect she came to this role an unknown.
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Topic From this Discussion
Appropriate for a high school class?
i just recently heard about this film, ordered it from Amazon, and I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival. As I haven't viewed it yet, I too am wondering if you got an answer regarding whether or not it is appropriate for high school. I too am a high school Spanish teacher. I would love to... Read More
Jul 31, 2008 by Lori J. Leopard |  See all 3 posts
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