Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It

2021, Documentary, 1h 30m

102 Reviews Fewer than 50 Verified Ratings

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An affecting profile of screen legend Rita Moreno, Just a Girl is at once a sharp critique of the industry's crushing inequities and a beautiful homage to an artist who never backed down despite the odds. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Over a 70+ year career, Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and beloved actor, one of the rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Award Winners of our time. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Moreno and her seamstress mother immigrated to New York City when Moreno was five years old. After studying dance and performing on Broadway, Moreno was cast as any ethnic minority the Hollywood studios needed filled, be it Polynesian, Native American or Egyptian. Despite becoming the first Latina actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in "West Side Story" (1961), the studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent. RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT illuminates the humor and the grace of Moreno, as well as lesser-known struggles faced on her path to stardom, including pernicious Hollywood sexism and abuse, a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando, and serious depression a year before she emerged an Oscar winner. Moreno's talent and resilience triumphed over adversity, as she broke barriers, fought for representation and forged the path for new generations of artists.

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Critic Reviews for Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (98) | Rotten (4)

  • The documentary is rich in archival clips, but mostly it's just rich in her -- and Moreno is tons of fun.

    June 22, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Director Mariem Pérez Riera never gets in the way of her subject and lets viewers feel Moreno's spirit, her vibrancy and her energy.

    June 21, 2021 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • Even in a film that makes no bones about presenting its subject in a flattering, softening light, this 89-year-old stage and screen legend has refreshingly few qualms about saying exactly what she thinks.

    June 21, 2021 | Full Review…
  • The new documentary Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It reiterates many of those anecdotes, but it doesn't tell us much that Moreno hasn't divulged already in her 2013 memoir or in countless interviews over the years.

    June 21, 2021 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • The film, anchored by interviews with Moreno and her co-stars and contemporaries, positions Moreno as a trailblazer, a barrier-breaker, and a role model, but more interestingly, it ultimately tracks a journey of self discovery.

    June 18, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A fascinating and at times sobering look at [Moreno's] romances, and her personal struggles with self-esteem and self-worth, as well as the racism, misogyny, and sexual abuse she endured throughout her seven-decade career.

    June 18, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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