Like Anaya’s novel, Franklin’s script is remarkable for not passing judgment on whether Ultima’s beliefs or the Catholic teachings are correct — in fact, the film posits that both the hand of God and the works of a skilled curandera
can exist together. Franklin (“Devil in a Blue Dress,” “One True Thing”) made some cuts from Anaya’s story for the sake of streamlining and fell back on narration (Alfred Molina as the grown Antonio) to bridge gaps in the film’s narrative.
Franklin’s staid direction deprives the story of some of the mystic power that should be on display.
— George Lang