In 1925, Gabriela becomes cook, mistress, and then wife of Nacib, a bar owner in a small Brazilian coastal town runs by the local colonels. Nacib becomes tired of Gabriela's uneducated ways... See full summary »
In 1925, Gabriela becomes cook, mistress, and then wife of Nacib, a bar owner in a small Brazilian coastal town runs by the local colonels. Nacib becomes tired of Gabriela's uneducated ways, and annuls the marriage when he finds her in bed with his friend Tonico. The political ways of the town modernize slightly and Gabriela returns as Nacib's mistress. Written by
Here's a film to see in the 21st century that is entertaining almost exclusively for its time-capsule quality, a tour back through time and Brazil, a Latin pot-boiler with a cook who's always simmering. The full-on sexy scenes with Sonia Braga add to the uninhibited foreign flavors.
The original title is "Gabriela, Clove & Cinnamon." No question she's a spicy dish, seemingly always ready & willing and never wearing (hot clingy) foundations under her dress. Hired as a house-cook, she becomes appreciated by the male locals, too, when she begins to bring a loving lunch (of food) to Nacib. Her presentation - and not the food - becomes a little too delicious for the male patrons and Nacib finds it necessary to reduce her exposure a bit.
Not quite sure about Marcello Mastroianni's appearance as Nacib except to get financing and generate some foreign box. Nevertheless, he's OK, even though his cook (Braga), then mistress, then wife to prevent the other locals from making her THEIR mistress eventually proves hard to manage ... and to keep satisfied. Finally, the duplicity common to females elevated from even the lowest social strata takes hold and generates conflict.
This film also is a look at a Latin male culture that is variously leering and lewd and legally lax in a way that makes 80's Brazil seem like much longer ago. One reviewer called this film a "male fantasy." At first maybe, surely, with Gabriela's happy, quick smoldering readiness ... but it becomes phantasm more than orgasm as Nacib finds her increasingly difficult to keep happy (like letting her go to the circus instead of a local society lecture). His desire is for her to be regarded as his wife instead of merely youth'ish house-help and wife-mistress. In the end ... well, you'll have to see.
And wasn't Mastroianni in another film called "Wifemistress?" (Yes.) It's better and more sophisticated - and maybe more sexy (in the uncut international version) with perhaps one of the loveliest and first and most natural non-porn displays of the vulva in film. It's a film that currently is difficult to find - cut or uncut.
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