Princesas (Princesses)


Princesas (Princesses)

Critics Consensus

What Princesas lacks in unique insight into its subject matter, it more than makes up in its sensitive, empathetic portrayal of women engaged in the world's oldest profession.



Total Count: 31


Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,554
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Movie Info

This moving portrait of two young prostitutes plying their trade in Madrid is highlighted by stellar performances by Candela Pena and Micaela Nevárez as the working girls. Pena plays a local woman whose line of work is a secret to her respectable family, while Nevárez is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who wants to make enough money to go back home to visit her young son. Produced, written and directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa. Mariana Cordero, Llum Barrera, Monica Van Campen.

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Critic Reviews for Princesas (Princesses)

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (16)

  • With not a pimp in sight, no mention of people-trafficking, and a single token drug-addict, this Spanish prostitution drama is serenely old-fashioned.

    Dec 28, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Top Critic
  • The film has inspirational messages about the rewards of multicultural integration, but its tacit approval of prostitution as a rewarding career choice seems a bit peculiar.

    Dec 28, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Compelling, frequently funny and, commendably, resists wrapping things up sentimentally. Nice Manu Chao soundtrack, too.

    Dec 28, 2007 | Full Review…

    Nick Funnell

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Despite the difficult subject matter, there is colour and energy to the storytelling that betrays a diehard optimism and is vaguely reminiscent of Pedro Almodovar's films. Aranoa keeps a loose, fluid feel to the action and ups the tempo with music.

    Dec 25, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Aranoa sketches a melancholy based on accurate human observation.

    Oct 27, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • While Princesas offers sensitive and beautifully wrought performances by its two leads (Candela Pena and Micaela Nevarez, who each won Goya Awards), the film offers little new in way of substance or theme.

    Sep 7, 2006

Audience Reviews for Princesas (Princesses)

  • Nov 30, 2009
    expected it to be a bit shoddy and alot sexy. although micaela nevarez is da bomb it turned out to be really well made. one of the best dramas i've seen in ages! it's up there with volver (the connection being the spanish). it has equal parts serious, funny and imaginative. infact for the last half i desperately needed to take a piss... but i couldn't tear my eyes away from the screen so just waited. if that isn't promotion enough i don't know what is!
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2009
    Boring! But well made if you want to know about the trials and tribulations of Spanish hookers.
    Steve S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2009
    <div style="width:280px;"><a href=""><img src="" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href=""><B><I>Princesas</I></B></a> </div></div> Nathan Lee of the NY Times described this film as an "unimaginative melodrama" with stereotypical cliches such as "the hooker with a heart of gold," and featuring "improbable poetic monologues." To an extent, he is right, but I think he was expecting something different from this movie based on its release description. Prostitutes, like movie critics, come in all shapes, sizes, temperaments, and from diverse backgrounds, so it's difficult to say with any certainty what is "typical" in that world. This film isn't supposed to be a gritty expose of the sex service industry. Rather, the industry provides a backdrop for a character portrait, albeit not a tremendously substantial one, about two women who bond because they are similarly situated in circumstances under which outsiders can rarely provide solace or real understanding on a level the girls can relate to. In this slice of life ballad, the story revolves around the unlikely and uneasy alliance that develops between two rival prostitutes in Madrid. Caye comes from a good family and is a mid-level independent contractor. She consoles herself with the conviction that her career choice is temporary. Her friend Zulema is an illegal alien, working as a streetwalker and is in a more desperate financial and legal situation. Both struggle against violent clients, disapproval from family and acquaintances, and the difficulty of trying to cultivate normal external relationships, an endeavor which their deviant occupations severely impair. While coping with their respective circumstances, the pair attempt to find substance, meaning and happiness in spite of their bleak, shadow-like existence. The characters are portrayed in a genuine and sympathetic manner, their interactions with society presented from their point of view. Their profession offers opportunity for a number of observations, some harsh, about human nature and the human condition. In so doing, the plight of the central characters is presented as a microcosm of the social attitudes, hypocrisies and superficiality that we all encounter in the world at large. This film is sort of a pensive, arty piece, not intended to provide succor for the viewer seeking deep revelations or looking for a riveting, intricate plot.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2009
    This is a very well written movie based on reality. Actor's performances are great. I like the movie because is a drama of an immigrant whom driven by the bad economic situation of her country, was forced to leave the homeland and work as a prostitute in Madrid Spain. She was promised for a visa to stay legally in the country, but they just used her. She met Caye who is just a prostitute too They understand each other and they create a true friendship until Zulema has to leave the country because her HIV results came back positive. A very human story that is worth to see it.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer

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