Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story
Stars: Catherine Zeta Jones
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
The real life of Columbian drug lord, Griselda Blanco, who reportedly masterminded more than 200 murders. This film presents her life story from the time she was a young girl to the end of her life.
Academy award winning actress, Catherine Zeta Jones has hit a new career high playing Griselda Blanco in a Lifetime movie! The movies opens up with a disturbing portrayal of a young Griselda who is pimped into sex work by her Mother, Her Mom kicks her out of the house because she didn’t get the money she was owed. Griselda goes back to the John and shoots him for her money. Kicking off a life of crime.
Flash forward to the 1970’s (You can tell by the Men’s outfits and mustaches.) Griselda is over making counterfeit passports and is ready to move into the big leagues of drug smuggling bot Alberto Bravo. (Really? That’s his name?) She suggests using women models and hiding the drugs in their bras. Her husband is not having it and forbids her to work for a drug lord, he then asks her to get him a beer. Griselda does, she smashes it over his head and threatens to kill him if he ever interferes with her life again.
Griselda innovates more ways to smuggle drugs: Using old people, panty lining, and even smuggling drugs herself. But, don’t forget she has three sons! One son is an all star and the other two are dumb losers who want to get into the family business. Caroline (her lover?) takes care of the kids when Griselda is out doing drug things.
Everything seems to be going great, Griselda has her family, new husband and lesbian lover. It all comes crashing down when the DEA start to trail her. It doesn’t seem to matter THAT much because she just moves into another house and kills whoever she wants. Seriously? Griselda gets a Joan Crawford manaion and puts a hit on her sons girlfriend’s father? WTF! (Speaking of Joan Crawford, Catherine Zeta Jones is going full on Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest in this movie.)
The number one rule when being a drug dealer is don’t do the drugs you sell. (So I hear!) Griselda doesn’t follow this rule and even pressures her love, Caroline, into doing cocaine. Of course, Griselda becomes a full blown coke addict. (And Debbie Harry lookalike!) She can’t blame the drugs for why she kills her husband in cold blood for cheating on her in a bathroom stall. It is a scene that is supposed to be suspenseful, but just looks cheap on Lifetime’s budget.
After a very long extended dance scene, Griselda now has a new baby and she is doing bumps in the hospital with the baby. They also plot to take out all their enemies and the DEA. Which only kicks them into high alert, and puts Griselda at the top of everyone’s hit list. When Uber (Griselda’s good son gone bad.) questions whether or not to kill a man’s kids, she grabs a gun and does it herself.
The DEA officer confronts Griselda’s third husband and convinces him to turn on Griselda. They set up a fake kidnapping of their son Michael and head to Columbia. Griselda catches on and orders a hit on her third husband to get her son back.
Things don’t work out for Griselda. Her lesbian lover (Caroline) OD’s, he sons are caught by the DEA and eventually murdered, and she herself gets taken in by the DEA. In jail they try to get Griselda to turn on other drug lords, but she isn’t afraid of prison. Her life has been a prison. At least she has a picture of Caroline to get her through it all.
So much of this movie is underscored with salsa music… sooo much. (Like did we need two extended dance scenes?)
Catherine Zeta Jones received a lot of criticism for playing the Columbian drug lord. She herself is Welsh. When asked to comment by Entertainment Weekly she responded:
“This happens to be the third Hispanic I’ve played,” she said. “I played the lead in Zorro, and I screen-tested with six Hispanic women, and I got the role. I don’t know what to say. And I was a complete unknown at this point; it wasn’t because I had a name or box-office value.”
She added: “I have to take [the roles] I believe I can embody. I can’t be the person to fight against a very big issue, and I won’t take on that role. There have been so many actors who have played against type.’ That’s sort of what we do.”
Cocaine Godmother drew 1.85 million total viewers during its premiere.
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*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime