Live From SXSW's Screening Room


D: Nancy Savoca.

Narrative Feature Special Screenings, World Premiere Dolores (Ortiz) is an undocumented worker from El Salvador who cleans luxury apartments in uptown New York. Among the splendor of her clients' homes, Dolores worries about immigration, her unemployed husband, and her rebellious teenage son, whose attachment to life in the U.S. grows, while Dolores and her husband scrape together money for their dream home back in El Salvador. What saves Dirt from being a precious homage to the working class is a delicate performance by Mexican stage actress Ortiz and Savoca's screenplay (written with Richard Guay), led by a sympathetic, though fear-driven, Dolores. Then again, Dolores is no more neurotic about her obsessions than her clients are about theirs. The difference is that she doesn't have "a woman" to clear away the debris of her life. But a life-changing event changes that. "There's always dirt even if it's not really there. I take care of it," Dolores says at the film's end. Thankfully, Dirt makes viewers confident that she will. (Paramount, 3/13, 9:30pm)

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