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‘Raging Grace’ Review: SXSW Winner Is a First-Rate Suspenser with a Sociopolitical Soul

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Joe Leydon Film Critic Winner of SXSW’s narrative grand jury award, “Raging Grace” deserves ample credit both for what it is and what it is not.

But it’s difficult to be much more detailed in any appraisal of this cunning thriller without prematurely releasing cats from bags.

On the other hand, it is safe to say that Paris Zarcilla, the British-born Filipino writer-director here making his feature debut, does an impressive job of infusing scary movie conventions with the potent urgency of a sharply observed social critique.

Right from the start, Zarcilla generates a compelling rooting interest in his protagonist: Joy (Max Eigenmann), a single Filipina mom who’s trying to maintain a low profile while working at various housekeeping jobs — mostly for well-off folks who sound condescending even during the most innocuous conversational gambits — and saving to purchase a gray-market visa so she and Grace (Jaeden Paige Boadilla), her mischievous young daughter, can remain in London.

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