For my money, if I'm in the mood for the kind of aesthetic and emotional experience Saints is selling, I'll just blast Jim Carroll's more concise (and rocking!) "People Who Died" out of my iPod.
Writer-director Montiel creates a movie of many parts that don't always congeal. Mix this with the many meaty scenes and a roster of often exceptional actors and the effect is one of a fabulous acting showcase more than a wholly finished work.
Whatever the first-time filmmaker lacks in subtlety and finesse--not even the snow-white Sundance Screenwriters Lab could bleach Montiel's script of its corner-deli grit--he recoups by other, more playfully attitudinal means.