December 16, 2018

Nona is in select theaters on December 7th, 2018.

Written and directed by Michael Polish (Big Sur), Nona is a tale of a young Honduran woman traveling to America with hopes and dreams to reunite with her mother. She takes this chance after meeting a seemingly charming vagabond, but would eventually face perils beyond what she could have imagined. Sex-trafficking. Husband and wife duo Michael Polish and Kate Bosworth work together in this production from Make Pictures, along with Sulem Calderon and Jesy McKinney.

This tale is very unsettling as a viewer knowing what is to come, but most of what we see is... beautiful. There are romantic shots from Honduras to Mexico as the young pair travel by bus, foot, and boat to a promise that never comes. Hecho (McKinney) gains the trust of Nona (Calderon) after he tells her he travels because of heartbreak. There's not much to really take away from most of the film except for the cinematography, as there is not much character-wise to really grab you. Nona wants to become a beautician, leaving her job at a funeral home "painting the dead" and the normalcy of death in her life.

The audience finally sees the grit that is supposed to balance all the romantic shots of their travels, but it felt too rushed and short to really dive deep into the more compelling characters toward the end of the film. Still, the message made its way by the end and is part of an important message that should be revealed to the world about the dangers of sex-trafficking and the innocent lives that are lost. While I think the filmmakers got a little lost in the beauty of the journey, if you are patient the story does come full circle. Lilly Melgar gives a spectacular and terrifying performance as the woman in charge of place handing out death sentences to all the girls enslaved, sucking almost all of the hope that we see built up in the film. The grit that you expect is not balanced, but if you have patience, there is much to be taken away from Nona.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Marisa Marisa (Contributor) is a Maryland native who currently works in New York City. She is an avid Auburn Tigers fan and enjoys traveling around the world. Her hobbies include movies, going to just about any type of sporting event, live music, and playing with her husky and pug.
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