6.6/10
359
1 user 16 critic

Hard Labor (2011)

Trabalhar Cansa (original title)
Young housewife Helena is on the verge of fulfilling a dream as she prepares to open her own business: a neighborhood grocery store. She hires a maid, Paula, to take care of her house and ... See full summary »
9 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Helena
Marat Descartes ...
Otávio
Naloana Lima ...
Paula
Gilda Nomacce ...
Gilda
Marina Flores ...
Vanessa
Lilian Blanc ...
Inês
Thiago Carreira ...
Ricardo
Hugo Villavicenzio ...
Jorge
Eduardo Gomes ...
Dynamic coordinator
Antônio Januzelli ...
Dirceu
Clarissa Kiste ...
Márcia
Laerte Késsimos ...
Antunes Filho
Júlio Machado ...
Man in suit
Lucélia Maquiavelli ...
Adelaide
Beto Matos ...
Funny customer
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Storyline

Young housewife Helena is on the verge of fulfilling a dream as she prepares to open her own business: a neighborhood grocery store. She hires a maid, Paula, to take care of her house and daughter. But when her husband Otavio is suddenly fired from his job as an insurance executive, Helena is left to support the family alone. As Otavio fails to find work and becomes increasingly alienated, business struggles to take off and the pressure on Helena mounts. To make things worse, she discovers that one of the building's brick walls seems to be crumbling. Helena begins to wonder if that may be the cause of all her problems. Written by Dezenove Som e Imagens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

30 October 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Labor  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was one of the finalists for the Sundance/NHK Award. See more »

Soundtracks

It came upon the midnight clear - Noel
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by Edmund Hamilton Sears
Arranged by Rafael Cavalcanti
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User Reviews

 
A complex, intriguing movie
25 May 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The original title is Trabalhar Cansa, or Work Tires You, a somewhat humorous expression translated as Hard Labor. The title suggests a comedy, but this movie is nothing of the sort. The first half is a tragedy happening everywhere today; Otávio, a man in his forties living with his family in Sao Paulo loses his well paid job and becomes unemployable or, at best, a member of the Gig Economy; his options reduce to temporary, low paid jobs below his level of training without security or benefits.

The movie shows the damage to Otávio's self image, and its consequences for Otávio's relation with his wife Helena. Helena was planning to open a grocery store at the time of Otávio's firing. She goes ahead with the idea but difficulties arise some expected, some of a very sinister sort, such as a grisly discovery inside one of the store's walls. At this point the movie veers into the horror genre and we suspect there is an unknown force working against the couple. At the end, we are back with Otávio trying to build up his confidence to find a viable job option and Helena struggling with her business, and we wonder if the horror episode was dreamed or imagined, or if it's a symbol of something hidden in the couple's past.

This movie is hard to watch at times; there is an edgy, uncomfortable feeling in most scenes and a sense of impending doom. The script by directors Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas is first rate, as are acting, production values and direction. A movie to consider.


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