In Lisbon, the middle-aged TV journalist Linda Lapa is preparing a special program named 'Three Wishes' for her show "Maquillages" (make-up) and interviews her best-friends Eva, Barbara, Chloé and Branca. Linda has a love affair with the younger director Gigi but she does not allow him to spend the night with her. When the young actress Raquel flirts with Gigi, Linda feels that she must change her behavior to keep her relationship with her lover. Eva is a widow literature professor with a son. Eva feels desire for Luis but lives a moral dilemma between her lust and their age difference. Barbara is hypochondriac and misses her husband Edgar (Didier Flamand), but they have a good relationship and Barbara, her daughter Inês (Marie Guillard) and Luis frequently meets Edgar. When Barbara faints in a store, she discovers that she has an incurable disease. Chloé is a lesbian make-up professional that was addicted to heroin and secretly loves Branca, who is a successful actress and the ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Official submission of Luxembourgfor the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 70th Academy Awards in 1998. See more »
[Linda watches a recording on her portable video camera. On screen there is Eva. Behind the camera, Linda directs a interview]
You may start now. The genie is here, before you. You may ask him three wishes.
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And why should we care? Fake setting (Portugal has a french speaking population?) with 5 fake women characters in search of a real male director. Carmen Maura carries the burden of being forever associated with Almodovar's comedies, so the expectation is she will makes us laugh. Looking like a mini me Mommy Dearest she's never given the chance to break loose and show us what makes her tick the wrong side of intimacy. At times she also looks like an old stable horse forced to chew on French. If middle aged Hollywood actresses have a hard time finding a worthy role, this movie proves that European ones are faring no better: rounded up past their prime into a Portuguese corral with no abbattoir in sight to put them out of their misery, has to be a pretty demoralizing experience. Having no believable plot or a character to root for the mind starts to slide into catty judgments reserved for desperate women of a certain age...Keller has aged better than the rest of the cast but as much as she crunches her face and knocks her forehead against hard surfaces, she still can't shed a tear which is why all her crying fits are shot from the back of her head; Marissa Berenson's surgically enhanced face has left her looking more vacuous than Pinocchio, with an emaciated body that should have stayed inside the bathtub she used in the Barry Lyndon movie; Mioux Mioux still speaks in a grating little girl's voice trapped inside the now little 50 year old me ( a role that Maureen Steenburgen who also speaks like a 5 year old will play in the American version if God doesn't spare us); who trained that chimpanzee to play a drag queen that impersonates the cabaret diva singer? But let me stop. In the end the women's three wishes which is the premise for this campless movie is a cop out even for the screenwriter. No resolutions just fake happy endings. If you want to see more than six women that can act in French then rent Francois Ozon's 8 women for a more satisfying and dignifying experience.
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