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Estrela Nua (1984)

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Movie actress gets her first big chance when invited to dub another actress who had commited suicide. But gradually, her personality begins to merge with the dead woman's.

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Title: Estrela Nua (1984)

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Credited cast:
Cristina Aché
Patricio Bisso
Carla Camurati
Alfredo Damiano
Selma Egrei
José Antonio Garcia
Ícaro Martins
Jardel Mello
Cida Moreira ...
(as Cida Moreyra)
Ricardo Petráglia
Vera Zimmerman


Movie actress gets her first big chance when invited to dub another actress who had commited suicide. But gradually, her personality begins to merge with the dead woman's. Written by

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Possession Fantasy
25 June 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Gloria (Carla Camurati) is unemployed and wants to be an actress. She finally finds a job in a studio. When the main actress of the film, Angela (Cristina Aché), dies in an accident, Gloria is called to make the dubbing, because her voice resembles that of the dead actress. As her work in the film progresses, Gloria begins little by little to assume the personality of Angela.

Gloria is a shy and sweet girl. Angela's character is straightforward and direct and she is also a manipulating girl with an uninhibited (imaginary?) sex life, but how was Angela? The lines are blurred - Angela and Angela's character lives seem to mix together and share the same destiny. Possession?

Gloria is slowly being possessed by Angela. This possession grows more and more strong. Gloria sees Angela in her dreams and begins to live(?) Angela or Angela's character life - her mirror sometimes reflects Angela's face instead of her own. Chaos and ambiguity follow. Things seem to be heading for disaster. La Danse Macabre is about to start again. So it seems. A promising story!

"A Estrela Nua" offers many symbols and hints (a broken mirror, garlic (!), lit candles etc. But unfortunately these symbols lead to nothing. No real meaning at all, in my opinion - just images, just symbols, because they are not based on anything. The possession seems far-fetched. Gloria was a normal girl with no special relationship problems (and the film doesn't show any dangerous undertows moving inside of her) and suddenly out of nothing she becomes possessed!

"A Estrela Nua" (like many other Brazilian films - for instance, "Cidade Baixa" and "Amarelo Manga") lacks depth. Brazilian films, in general, are good in portraying realistic situations and the simple conflicts arising from them. But when they try to describe deeper feelings, they fall short.

Let's compare "A Estrela Nua" with "Repulsion" by Polanski. In "Repulsion", Polanski describes the slow descent of Carole (Catherine Deneuve) into madness. We see that Carole is a very shy girl, but from the beginning, delicate hints are given pointing to her disturbed mind: her excessive dislike to be touched, her mania for cleanliness etc.. She begins to fall into chaos and eventually is completely possessed by the fear and hate that inhabited her for so long. It all climaxes with an explosion of lunacy and murder. Still the happenings are believable enough. "Repulsion"'s horror effectiveness lies in its being, in a way, so close to reality - but this reality (surface) fades aways more and more from Carole's life and her inner drives take over.

Not so "A Estrela Nua". The film tells about the deep inner crisis that Gloria is going through, that, in a way, threatens her own existence - but her crisis seemed unreal to me.

A soap opera, a melodrama, have no concern about reality, a surrealist film surpasses reality and fantasy reigns supreme in horror films.

"A Estrela Nua" pretends to be a realistic film and even if it plunged suddenly into horror/fantasy, this would have to be done in an effective way to work out. But "A Estrela Nua" didn't succeed in that. Even the solution found by the film to explain the story - a box inside a box inside a box - is not satisfying enough. At least for me.

All in all, it's better to turn off your critical faculties and accept the story as it is. The acting of Carla Camurati, Cristina Aché and the remaining cast is good. The film has anyway more depth and it's more human than your typical Hollywood movie. So if you don't expect too much you'll enjoy "A Estrela Nua" with its (in spite of all) interesting story and its beautiful actresses.

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