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Best Actress Nominee: Catalina Sandino Moreno

Film: Maria Full of Grace

Previous best actress wins for role: Chicago Film Critics, Most Promising Performance; Los Angeles Film Critics Association New Generation Award; Online Film Critics Society Best Breakthrough Performance

Previous Oscar nominations/wins: None

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Character Bio: The lovely Moreno is Maria Alvarez, a bright, spirited 17-year old who lives with three generations of her family in a cramped house in rural Colombia and works stripping thorns from flowers in a rose plantation. The offer of a lucrative job involving travel–in fact, becoming a drug “mule”–changes the course of her life. Far from the uneventful trip she is promised, Maria is transported into the risky and ruthless world of international drug trafficking. Her mission becomes one of determination and survival and she finally emerges with the grace that will carry her forward into a new life.

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