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Review: Margarita


A 20-something nanny and illegal immigrant in Canada, Margarita finds herself in love with her girlfriend and her job, but struggling to confront her status and lack of education. When the cash-strapped family to whom she has been loyal to fires her, Margarita returns to Mexico as the people that have abandoned her realize just how important she was all along.

Who’s in It?
Nicola Correia Damude is wonderful as the loving yet stubborn Margarita, a savvy young woman who hides her fears but wears her emotions on her sleeve.

A strange combination of drama, humour, and passion make up this Canadian film that is more a sum of parts than it is a whole. A carefree opening finds Margarita on her day off basking with her friends in a hot tub on a cold winter day. Her fun is short lived, though, as the family she works for return home early with all the problems of a middle-class suburbia, something Margarita knows nothing of.

She is illegal in Canada, hesitant of trying to earn status, get an education, or leave the small world she has created. She is deeply in love with her girlfriend, but the two have only been together five months, and the hesitancy to move ahead quickly on the part of Jane is something that viewers may understand more than Margarita does.

This is hardly the only misunderstanding that occurs in Margarita’s life when things don’t exactly go her way. She is sweet and handy, fixing the house, acting as a sister and mother to the family’s 14-year-old daughter, and preparing healthy meals – but she is also naïve.

Her journey takes her from the apparent comforts of working as a nanny back to her home country, a trek that makes up the more heartfelt and dramatic part of the film. Her time with her friends is mystical, a late night with her girlfriend is steamy, and encounters with the bumbling father and former employer are awkward and silly.

Transitions between these tones, which also include fits of anger on Margarita’s part, seem to come and go suddenly and uncomfortably. Still, the film is small and familiar, conveying a strong message with care and tenderness.  Margarita is a not a figure of pristine innocence or a martyr of injustice, but she is representative of many; a determined, empathetic figure that carries a film through all its humour, passion, and heartbreak.

Should You See It?
What, you’re not going to support a Canadian film that speaks to our multiculturalism?

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.