Set at a doctors' conference at a rundown hotel, Lucrecia Martel’s second feature encompasses multiple subplots filled with gossip, corruption and petty betrayal. Everyone has their own agenda, and no one anticipates its ultimate effect on those around them. Dr. Jano (Carlos Belloso) is hardly an ogre, but he lets himself give in to his baser instincts, using the anonymity of the crowd as cover. Hoping to cop a quick feel and slip away, he accidentally engages the full attention of young Amalia (Maria Alché), who only wants to find and fulfill God's plan for her. THE HOLY GIRL offers a rare combination of boldly ambitious themes, encompassing the power of nascent sexuality and the nature of sin, with a commendable moral complexity and depth of characterization. With remarkable subtlety and grace, Martel delineates a minor tragedy brought about by compulsive behavior and the uncontrolled passions of an adolescent girl channeled into well-intended destruction.
“Original, something entirely new; it exposes a fresh membrane of human consciousness and trickles stimuli along the quivering surface. Once seen, it will never be forgotten—though understanding exactly what you've seen may prove a bit of a puzzle.” —Nathan Lee, The New York Sun