With the unstoppable juggernaut that is Star Wars taking up most of the cinema screens and saccharine family films using the few remaining, it is slim pickings on the big screen just now.
Fortunately, there are a few interesting movies that are still seeing the light of day, and Most Beautiful Island is one of those. It is written and directed by, and also stars Ana Asensio as Luciana.
She is an illegal Spanish immigrant struggling to get by in New York, taking cash in hand jobs whenever she can get them. When her friend, Olga (Natasha Romanova) tells her she can make $2000 in one night if she turns up at a certain location wearing a smart black dress, she is desperate enough to do it without any idea what is going to happen to her.
The early part of the film, showing Luciana’s day to day life, shot with a documentary like realism pulled me in. So, by the time we get to the point that Luciana is standing in a warehouse with a group of similarly attired women, all waiting to be called into a room, the tension was apparent. You will probably have some sort of idea what is going on in the room, but the exact details came as a surprise.
Some people may find the first two thirds of the film a little slow and you could argue that the ending lacks a bit of drama, but I think it is an impressive effort from Arsensio. All the performances are fine, with a chilling Caprice Benedetti making the biggest impression on me as the woman running the event.
Rating: 7 out of 10