Based on the controversial novel by acclaimed author Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me Ultima is a coming-of-age story set in New Mexico during WWII, centered on the relationship between a young boy and an elderly medicine woman who helps him contend with the battle between good and evil that rages in his village.
Film informationGenre: Drama, War
- Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
A deeply satisfying feat of storytelling, Bless Me, Ultima makes a difficult task look easy. It combines innocence and experience, the darkness and wonder of life, in a way that is not easy to categorize but a rich pleasure to watch. ...
- The A.V. Club - by Noel Murray
The movie is at its best when it’s at its smallest: when Ganalon quietly watches Colon coax a dying young man into vomiting up his “curse,” or when Ganalon is getting laughed out of his classroom because he has a burrito in his lunchbox instead of a sandwich. ...read more
- Variety - by Peter Debruge
Offsetting stiff acting with rich atmosphere, visuals and music, this long-awaited picture hits the novel's key plot points without denying its spiritual soul. ...
- Austin Chronicle - by Marjorie Baumgarten
Although Bless Me, Ultima can feel a bit overstuffed, it’s an honest and naturalistic kids’ story about growing up Mexican-American. ...read more
- USA Today - by Claudia Puig
What might have made Bless Me, Ultima more powerful would have been additional scenes with its mystical title character. ...read more
- Chicago Tribune - by Michael Phillips
The results are pretty, and sometimes beautiful. They're also a tad stiff, and the dialogue and voice-over narration sometimes has the ring of a scrupulously faithful adaptation. ...read more
- San Francisco Chronicle - by Peter Hartlaub
The film often stumbles in translation, trying to define too many characters in too little time. ...read more
- Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
It’s an engaging yarn, set in a place, a time and among a people rarely represented on the big screen. But “Ultima” is a poetic novel that becomes prosaic on the screen. ...read more
- Slant Magazine - by Glenn Heath Jr.
The film's interest in social themes remains background fodder within a far more generic good-versus-evil narrative. ...read more
- New Orleans Times-Picayune - by Mike Scott
Unfortunately, Franklin isn't quite as successful at capturing the depth of the traditions for which Anaya's source material is so well known. ...read more