No Dia dos Meus Anos(1992), a Portuguese movie directed by João Botelho, is part of the "Os Quatro Elementos" (The Four Elements)series. This is the second episode, O Ar(The Air). The other ones are "Das Tripas Coração O Fogo", from Joaquim Pinto; "O Último Mergulho A Água", from João César Monteiro and "O Fim do Mundo A Terra", from João Mário Grilo.
Movie with several connected stories. The main one is of a family: a little boy(Miguel)who's anxious for his 7th birthday(hence the title - On My Birthday), his mother, his sister Joana, his grandfather...and his father. In their house lives a guest, a book seller. We also see the discord between a couple living in the same building and an argument between a mother and daughter about a wedding dress(or is there something more?).
The theme of the Air is expressed throughout the movie: the family lives near the airport; the recurring sky and airplanes; the pigeons; the wind passing through the trees; and also the dialog, with constant references of the sky, the air. In one of the first scenes, Joana(played by Madalena Rodrigues, whom i liked a lot) describes the elements that make up the air, in one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
It has some real interesting ideas and some well crafted scenes. Once in a while the typical philosophical digress so characteristic of Portuguese movies emerges, but it doesn't harm the movie. The acting is variable depending on the the actor, but generally OK. The music works well, although it doesn't strike me as the most suitable for the movie.The cinematography is good and the movie also has some good sense of humor, and in some scenes one can even laugh. Long things short, i liked it. Specially because it's so close to me, not only geographically, but also in many of the situations, characters, feelings and surroundings. The best example of this is the high school courtyard scene, my favourite in the movie and the closest i've seen in cinema to a Portuguese high school experience.
Basically, a movie about the difficulties and the discord within the family and how they can(or cannot)have a redemption. But a lot better than explaining what the movie is all about, is really seeing it, if you have the chance. Overall, a good little movie(only 1h long), and, maybe more important, a good Portuguese movie. I rate it: 7/10.
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