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Reaching for the Moon (2013)
"Flores Raras" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,361 users   Metascore: 44/100
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A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Credited cast:
Lota de Macedo Soares
Elizabeth Bishop
Marcello Airoldi ...
Carlos Lacerda
Margaret Bennett
Tânia Costa ...
Marianna Mac Niven ...
José Eduardo Macedo Soares
Robert Lowell
Anna Bella ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Griffin Addison ...
Boy with Sailboat
Kathleen (rumored)
Attendant #1
Professor #2


A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two iconic women. One passion.


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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

16 August 2013 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Reaching for the Moon  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,573 (USA) (8 November 2013)


$43,838 (USA) (29 November 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Reaching for the Moon is based on a true story See more »


Referenced in Programa do Jô: Episode dated 26 August 2013 (2013) See more »


Reaching for the Moon
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
See more »

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User Reviews

A melodramatic movie about a melodramatic situation
12 June 2014 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

The Brazilian movie Flores Raras was shown in the United States with the title Reaching for the Moon (2013). It was directed by Bruno Barreto.

The film is based on the life of the great American poet, Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto). As the movie begins, Elizabeth is traveling in Brazil, and visits the estate of the famous architect Lota de Macedo Soares, played by Glória Pires. Lota is in a lesbian relationship with Bishop's college friend Mary (Tracy Middendorf).

Despite Elizabeth's somewhat proper and restricted outlook, she accepts the love offered by Lota, even though this leaves Mary as the odd woman out. This act struck me as a shabby betrayal of an old friend, but, in the movie, it's treated as true love that makes such betrayal acceptable, if not inevitable.

It doesn't hurt that Lota has an enormous estate, and enormous resources. As an architect, Lota is able to envision and then design a beautiful writer's studio for Elizabeth.

The strong point of the movie is that it presents the writing of poetry as work. Elizabeth doesn't just close her eyes and wait until the poetic muse strikes her. She sits in the studio and pushes and pulls her poetry into shape. She's also not happy when she's interrupted during the creative process. This is the only film I can remember where creating a poem is shown as a process, and a delicate and difficult process at that.

This idyllic existence is disrupted by Brazilian political events, into which Lota plunges. The remainder of the movie is devoted to how these events play out in the lives of Elizabeth and Lota.

I don't know enough about the details of the coup, or of the lives of the film's principals, to know how accurately the film portrays them. This aspect of the movie is highly melodramatic, but the actual events were probably equally melodramatic. Certainly, the film holds your interest as the situation plays itself out to the end.

We saw this movie on the large screen, where it will work better, especially in the scenes set on Lota's estate. However, it will work well enough on the small screen. It's not a great movie, but it's certainly good enough to repay you for finding and watching it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is there any place to purchase a DVD copy of the film? anthonylover
Were is the house used as the filming location as Lota's country estate? michaelpanda63
That silver clasp soos345
Miranda Otto is amazing in it! Wilde_child
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