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Hour of the Star (1985)
"A Hora da Estrela" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  March 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 664 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 8 critic

Macabea has just moved to the big city after her aunt, who raised her, died. She gets a job as a typist and moves into a boarding house with three other women. In her spare time she listens... See full summary »


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Title: Hour of the Star (1985)

Hour of the Star (1985) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Complete credited cast:
José Dumont ...
Olímpico de Jesus
Tamara Taxman ...
Madame Carlota (the macumbeira)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Manoel Luiz Aranha ...
Marli Botoletto ...
Macumba assistant
Denoy de Oliveira ...
Maria Do Carmo Soares ...
Maria do Carmo
Walter Filho ...
Man in Mercedes
Sonia Guedes ...
Mrs. Joana
Umberto Magnani ...
Seu Raimundo
Miro Martinez ...
Blind man
Euricio Martins ...
Metro Guard
Raymundo Matos ...
Dirce Militello ...
Gloria's mother


Macabea has just moved to the big city after her aunt, who raised her, died. She gets a job as a typist and moves into a boarding house with three other women. In her spare time she listens to time Radio Station; on Sundays she likes to ride the subways. She describes herself saying, "I am a typist and a virgin, and I like Coca-Cola." Then she meets Olimpico, a north-easterner like herself, who has dreams of becoming a Congressman. Written by Benjamin Elijah Griffin <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hour of the Star  »

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Did You Know?


Film debut of Marcelia Cartaxo. See more »


Macabea: What is culture?
Olimpico: Culture... culture...
Olimpico: Culture is culture.
See more »


Featured in Panorama: Clarice Lispector See more »

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User Reviews

beautiful film

Clarice Lispector was one of the leading writers in the Portuguese language in the last century and Susana Amaral is one of the leading Brazilian film-makers in recent years, therefore the latter's intepretation of the former's tragically real novel could only be a success.... and doesn't disappoint.

Anti-heroine Macabea, like many migrants forced to flee their North-eastern birthplaces, towns such as Paraiba, has received little or no education, has no parents, and would have remained anonymous in a world too brutal for her type had not Lispector and Amaral been brave enough to bring her tragedy to the intention of the comparatively well off lucky people that we all are.

The film narrates events in poor Macabea's life - getting a job as a typist, getting a first boyfriend in fellow migrant Olympico, losing him to her more beautiful work colleague Gloria, before the tragically inevitable conclusion. Throughout the plot is punctuated with moments of revelation as the young lady finds escapism in film stars such as Marilyn Munroe, classical music, and the taste of Coca-cola. Her lack of education reveals her poor upbringing. Constantly as viewers we shout out 'don't eat whilst sitting on the toilet!' 'Don't wipe your nose on your shirt' 'Don't put so much sugar in your coffee!' Whilst her lack of common sense provides humour, it is also tragic. The viewers find themselves speaking to the characters, advising them. If only someone had been able to do when they were younger, then they might not be so hopeless in this dog-eat-dog world. This lack of knowledge is reflected in Olimpico, who aspires to be famous, suffers from the same disease as Macabea, that of being neglected by society. When Macabea asks him what culture is, he responds, 'Culture, culture.... culture is culture.' There is a world out there, the one we viewers all know and live in. This two characters were born to exist outside it.

In one of the most beautiful scenes of this poignant film, Macabea stares at her ugly reflection in the mirror with the camera placed behind her. She states, smiling, 'I'm a typist, a virgin, and I like coca-cola.' This is very little, yet to her represents an ephinany, a moment in her life which the camera cherises as much as she does. The tragically happy ending to the film evokes both the fundamental message of Lispector's dying voice (she wrote the novel fighting a losing battle against cancer) and Amaral's feminist vision. There is a responsibility in art, that social and moral conscience that Sartre spoke of. In Brazil 'there are thousands of girls like this' (as the back of Lispector's book tells). 'Few of them ever complain and as far as I know they never protest, for there is no one to listen'. As viewers, we are listening, seeing, feeling sorry for our victim of social conditions. Upon winning the Havana film festival director's award in 1976, Amaral quoted Lispector's wish that this 'stubborn race of dwarfs... would one day vindicate the right to protest'. This is a protest film, forcing middle class viewers to sympathise with the poverty stricken dwarfs we find it so easy to ignore. It is beautifully constructed to evoke sympathy, pity, and perhaps even lead us to take more social and moral responsibility on board, as Lispector and Amaral have done.

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