Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story ...
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While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman," a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.
Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story building, built in the 1940s, in the upper-class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighboring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future.
During the film's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the cast and crew the film staged a protest against the allegedly illegitimate impeachment of then Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. They held signs reading "Brazil is experiencing a coup d'etat" and "54,501,118 votes set on fire!" which was deemed a brave and polemic act. See more »
It's impressive what people say about lack of education, and they always refer to poor people, but lack of manners isn't in poor people, it's in rich, well educated people like you, the elite, who think they are elite, who think they are privileged, who don't stand in line, you know? People like you who took a "business" course, but lack basic human decency, who have no character, you know? No character, no I mean, you do have a character; your character is money, all you've got is your ...
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Ignoring all the political controversy surrounding this movie, what remains is a fantastic story.
It is sad that a powerful movie like this is contaminated by political ideology from both sides. Although I don't necessarily agree with any of the positions brought forth by the makers of this movie, this is still a fantastic piece of art, a fantastic story about the struggles of a middle-aged woman against not only a very real real estate speculation movement in Brazil, but also against her past, the upper-middle class blame, the old age labels, her family, all directed by probably the greatest living director of Brazil today.
From IMDb synopsis, Clara, a 65-year-old upper-middle class mother of 3 children, refuses to sell her apartment, the last still occupied, to a big real estate company, built in the upper class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. Pledging to only leave her place upon her death, her building is probably the last remnant of a not so long ago past. Facing this conflict ahead mostly by herself, she will reflect upon her past and future and give her new strength.
Although the story can seem to be a bit clichéd, the movie excels in representing a middle-aged woman in an unique and independent way, something rarely seen in movies, where usually these characters are simply secondary, caricatures. There will be no big reveals and big turns, it is a mostly linear story (quite different from Kleber Mendonça Filho last movie, "O Som ao Redor", also critically acclaimed). But the way the director tells the story is what is so great. With a technique so sharp, he creates tension throughout the whole movie in ordinary situations (his trademark, an influence from John Carpenter), like in the scene where Clara and the real estate manager are simply maneuvering cars in the building's garage. This tension is what carries the whole movie, until the powerful ending.
In addition, the greater part of the movie has no actual direct connection to the its apparent central plot. Clara attending parties, talking to the lifesaver, walking with her nephew, having family meeting is what fleshes out her character, telling so much about her personality and her past indirectly, and this is the film's greatest strength. The moment she has with her 3 kids is maybe one of the greatest scenes in Brazilian cinema.
Forget all the political ideology. Watch it for what this movie really is, a powerful, fantastic piece of art.
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