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Review: Rita Moreno doc 'Just a Girl' is a painful, dazzling journey of self-discovery

Rita-Moreno-in-the-film-RITA-MORENO-JUST-A-GIRL-WHO-DECIDED-TO-GO-FOR-IT-Photo-Credit-Courtesy-of-Roadside-Attractions.jpg
Rita Moreno in the-film-Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It{ } (Photo: Roadside Attractions)

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It
4 out of 5 Stars
Director:
Mariem Pérez Riera
Genre: Documentary
Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic content, some strong language including a sexual reference, and suggestive material.

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SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: From childhood to present day, the life of legendary actress Rita Moreno.

Review: Rita Moreno has lived many lives. Each of them has been uniquely Rita Moreno. You many know her as Anita from “West Side Story,” Millie from “The Electric Company,” Sister Peter Marie Reimondo from “Oz” or Lydia Margarita del Carmen Inclán Maribona Leyte-Vidal de Riera on the contemporary version of “One Day at a Time.” You might just know her for being Rita Moreno.

“Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” offers us a view into the many phases of Moreno’s career with commentary from the likes of Rita herself, Eva Longoria, Gloria Estefan, Morgan Freeman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Norman Lear and Whoopi Goldberg. We learn that Rita Moreno was just a girl who decided to go for it. But that is an understatement of the truth. Moreno was a girl who went for it time and time again. Every room had a glass ceiling and she kept smashing her way through without ever really knowing how far she could go. Knowing she would never get as far as she would if she were Caucasian, if she were man.

Going into the film, I thought I knew who Rita Moreno was. I really didn’t know Moreno at all. Her story is one of courage and determination in the face of loss and persecution. A constant phoenix from the flame. Burned down to her foundation and built up by herself again and again.