Bless Me, Ultima 2013 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(167) IMDb 6.4/10
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Based on acclaimed author Rudolfo Anaya's novel, BLESS ME, ULTIMA is a turbulent coming-of-age story about a young boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II, grappling with questions about his destiny, and the powers of a mystical woman.

Starring:
Luke Ganalon, Miriam Colon
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama
Director Carl Franklin
Starring Luke Ganalon, Miriam Colon
Supporting actors Benito Martinez, Dolores Heredia, Castulo Guerra, Joaquín Cosio, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Reko Moreno, Luis Bordonada, Joseph A. Garcia, James Victor, Raúl Castillo, Miguel Gomez, Alejandro Cabrera, Diego Miró, Kevin Ruiz, Juan Martinez, Gabriel Solis, Christian Traeumer, Julian Ortega
Studio Arenas Entertainment
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By LW on February 14, 2013
Verified Purchase
We just came home from seeing Bless Me, Ultima at the theater. The beauty of this movie is breathtaking..... images, music, story. I highly recommend this film. Of course, the book by the same title written by Rudolfo Anaya is incredible and the movie does an excellent job of capturing the emotion of the book. I live in New Mexico and this film evokes the magic and majesty of the state.

I plan to purchase a copy of this film as soon as it is available.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Cook on February 26, 2013
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I'm retired, and see 150-180 films a year. Bless Me, Ultima appeared in my local theatre with no hint it was coming via trailers or advertising. It is close to perfection. A good story for adult viewers, a beautiful
natural setting, and actors/acting for which you can only feel affection. This is a gem appreciated by small
audiences.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By D. Kriz on February 23, 2013
A lovely film based on Rudolfo Anaya's novel about a 7 year old Hispanic boy named Antonio growing-up and preparing for First Communion in rural New Mexico in the 1940s. The setup of the story is simple enough but within his parents' two families played out all the dramas both eternal and contemporary that one could imagine. His mother's family, the Luna's, was far more timeless, tranquil, religious (Catholic) and tied to the land (farmers), including Ultima a "curendera" who healed people using native cures going back to time immemorial. His father's family the Mares'es (all vaqueros/cowboys) was "like the sea," more sceptical, more worldly and also never really at peace. Much plays out then as little Antonio prepares for his first communion and tries to figure out how the world around him really works.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on February 22, 2013
“Bless me, Ultima” is a 2013 adaptation of the 1972 widely acclaimed coming of age novel by Rudolfo Anaya, centering on Chicano culture in rural New Mexico in the mid 1940s. Through the eyes of a 6 year old boy, we watch the struggles between good and evil, between religion and atheism, between the farm and the city.

The acting is terrific. Luke Ganalon is the young boy and he is marvelous, especially in the quiet moments, of which there are many. More familiar are Benito Martinez (he played David Aceveda on TV’s “The Shield”) as the father, veteran actress Miriam Colon as Ultima, and veteran actor Castulo Garcia as the head of a family feuding with Ultima. David Rees Snell (he played Det. Gardocki on “The Shield”) has a small role as a priest. Everyone does a great job, but especially touching is Colon as the elderly healer. And if you’re familiar with Martinez from his action styled previous roles, this turn as a rural farmer trying to raise his family will show you just how versatile an actor he is.

Writer/director Carl Franklin is most famous for “One False Move” (1992), “Devil in a Blue Dress” (1995), and “Out of Time” (2003) and his penchant for films set in the past serves him well in this film.

The beautiful photography comes from Paula Huidobro and the haunting musical score is courtesy of Mark Kilian.

Variety said the film “has survived the leap to the big screen with much of its magic intact, thanks to a respectful if somewhat wooden adaptation…” and praised the “rich atmosphere, visuals and music”. The LA Times called it “a deeply satisfying feat of storytelling” and said Colon “Magisterially played” the title character.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jay B. Lane TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 10, 2013
Based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya, this PG-13 coming-of-age story is set in rural New Mexico late in WWII. When a New Mexican boy starts the first grade in 1944, he carries a red Big Chief tablet identical to the one I carried to the first grade in 1945! When his much-loved grandmother arrives to spend her last days with his family, he can't help but notice that an owl also has taken up residence.

He sees a culture clash that includes traditional ways, witchcraft, Catholicism, and just a bit of secular U.S. Army after his adult brothers return from the war.

We see:
* Luke Ganalon (television roles) as Antonio, the super-observant first grader who witnesses the fatal actions of an hysterical posse, the bullying of a lonely classmate, the damage wrought by a faithless priest, the inspiration of a wonderful school teacher, and the healing powers of his beloved abuela.
* Miriam Colon ("The Southside") is Ultima, the healer who is immediately called on to save a young man dying as a result of witchcraft. This actress's career dates back to old Marlon Brando films; she's always been beautiful.
* Castulo Guerra ("Undocumented") is Tenorio, the firebrand who wants to incite a witch burning. He blames her for his daughters' debauchery.

This story does not shrink away from fatalities, nor does it whitewash the prejudice found in small rural communities. Our little hero is in jeopardy for his life a couple of times and that owl can be pretty fearsome! Guns are fired and people die, but the central family unit survives intact. Whew!

As we left the theater, we discussed the phenomenon of watching an entire movie that has no television sets, refrigerators, telephones, cell phones, or GPS units. However did they survive in those "good old days?" Closed captions will be appreciated on Amazon's DVD.
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