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Princesas (review)

Pretty Woman it ain’t. Caye (Candela Peña) and Zule (Micaela Nevárez) are prostitutes on the streets of Madrid, where women steal customers from one another by undercutting their fees and worry about the competition from younger, more exotic gals. This slice-of-life drama brooks no sentiment and spares us none of the tedium and terror of life on the street, and doesn’t pretend to any of that nonsense of the “pleasure” or sense of independence and self-reliance sex workers supposedly get from their jobs. Not that this is a relentlessly grim flick, though: there’s lots of hope and humor in this tale of making do and getting by and striving for more, and the tender, observant performances and delicate direction — by Fernando León de Aranoa, who refuses to either feel sorry for or condemn these women — make this festival-favorite a rewarding experience. Extras include a making-of featurette, a music video, deleted scenes, and theatrical trailer. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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