Cleopatra (2003) Poster

(2003)

User Reviews

Review this title
4 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
On the road of discovery
jotix1008 February 2005
This film reunites the director, Eduardo Mignogna, and its star, Norma Aleandro. Having recently shown on cable, and not having a clue about what to expect, we took a chance in watching "Cleopatra", a confusing title because it has nothing to do with the Egyptian queen. The previous film, by Mr. Mignogna, "Autumn Sun", in which Ms. Aleandro played, is my humble opinion is a more polished work.

"Cleopatra" is also the name of the main character in the film. She has been a teacher until recently, when she was forced to retire by a reduction in force. Her husband, Roberto, also lost his job in similar circumstances. Where Cleo tries to look for other things to do, Roberto gave up on life as a depression takes hold of him.

When we first see Cleo, she's on her way home, sitting in an underground train. She falls asleep and misses her stop. To make matters worse, she must face her daily reality at home with an unresponsive husband, who, for all practical purposes, isn't there, at all. We learn that Cleo and Roberto have two grown up children, both living abroad because of the lack of employment at home. Her secret desire has been to become an actress, but she never pursued her dream.

Cleo goes to audition at a television studio, but fright gets hold of her and she freezes in front of the camera. In the ladies room she meets Sandra, a soap opera star who is kind to Cleo. Sandra ends up taking Cleo home. The next day both decide to go on the road in a voyage of adventure and self discovery that will change both women forever.

This is basically the premise of this Argentine road movie. The main interest in watching it is Norma Aleandro. This excellent actress of screen and theater, gives a nuanced performance as the middle aged woman who finally lets everything go to begin a new life. Ms. Aleandro is at times clever, sometimes confused, in her interpretation of the character. Ms. Aleandro is at her most charismatic self playing the title role.

Equally effective is Natalia Oreiro, a gorgeous new face, as far as this viewer is concerned. She plays the young woman that is at a crossroads in her young life. Evidently, she has lived an emotional roller coaster up to now and wants nothing of that life. When Carlos, played by Leonardo Sbaraglia, stops for the women, by now stranded after a minor accident, Sandra begins to realize there is more to life than what she has been able to experienced so far.

The film offers magnificent views of western Argentina. The province of Mendoza is captured by the director in all its beauty. The film sometimes feel flat, and of course, one has to make concessions in the sudden transformation of Cleo, from a meek housewife, into an adventurer who discovers a life she never knew existed.
13 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Aleandro shines
nicholas-salerno13 September 2006
A retired schoolteacher (Norma Aleandro) takes part-time jobs to support her depressed, unemployed husband. When she meets a young actress (Natalia Oreiro) aspiring to better roles than those in soap operas, they form an immediate bond and embark on a more benign version of "Thelma and Louise." For part of the trip they are joined by a sympathetic hunk, played with smoldering sexuality by Leonardo Sbarglia. Their adventures on the road both amuse and enlighten--them and us too. The film's open-ended final scene allows viewers to muse on the role of women, married and un-, in Hispanic America. Academy-Award nominated ("The Official Story") Aleandro is wonderfully ditsy in her role as an older, married woman exposed to the possibilities of FemLib. The musical score is an added pleasure. Incidentally, the film's title is misleading.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Latin American Thelma and Louise
hugobolso-130 August 2003
This is a road movie of two women, one is a former teacher, Cleopatra who makes everything after her retirement, she lives with her depressed husband. The other is Sandra an Argentinian soap opera star, who is becaming a superstar, with a millionar contract to make a soap opera in Miami and replace Sandra Bullock in a movie. Cleo is funny but had panic scene, Sandra get tired from her fame and her love relationship with her producer, and suffered from bulimia. So after they met, both decided to leave Buenos Aires and travelled around the country. After a car accident they met Carlos(Leonardo Sbaraglia), a truckman who offers to go to Mendoza. The three start a trip that will change theirs life. The movie is wonderful, not perfect but wonderful. The cinematography is excellent with the Natural beauty of the Mendoza Province. It also have an excellent score. Even when the script have some flaw, the two performances are superb. Norma Aleandro, who won the San Sebastian Trophy and an Academy nomination, is probably the best argentinian actress, and prooves her oficium in this movie as the automnial and funny Cleo, with all her gestual faces that only a excellent actress has. Natalia Oreiro who is famous from her soaps, in her seccond movie is a revelation. She is a TV Soap Opera Star with all her cliches. She had only one movie before "Un argentino en Nueva Yorkª" that was very succesfull but the movie wasn't good, and her perfomance wasn't great. In Cleopatra seems for the first time Beautiful. In her soaps she looks pretty or sexy but in this she is beautiful, as she said was Mignona eye. She left lot of her cliche from being a moderated actress. Probably in this movie she felt from the first time she is an actress. She plays the role very well, and with her beauty gives a beautifull soul to the film. However Cleopatra is Norma Aleandro, and all the laurels goes to her.
14 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Either Do What You Should Do or Do What You Want or Just Sit Down
Chrysanthepop8 June 2010
Eduardo Mignogna's 'Cleopatra' may bear some resemblance to 'Thelma and Louise'. In both movies the two leads are frustrated with their current life and so they embark on a roadtrip. That's where the similarities end. 'Cleopatra' is much more toned down and restrained. It has a more poetic feel to it while 'Thelma and Louise' is more suspenseful and energetic. With photogenic cinematography of the stunning landscape and a whimsical soundtrack, the movie is pleasing to look at.

The writing is also quite down to earth and Mignogna does a fine job as director. He's storytelling is quite smoothe and he balances comedy and intensity with skill, never allowing the film to lose its whimsical edge. A beautiful Natalia Oreiro and Leonardo Sbaraglia are very good. Héctor Alterio is darkly funny as a lazy slacker husband.

'Cleopatra' mainly works because it has heart and the heart of Cleopatra is Norma Aleandro. Her sequences provide the best moments of the film, whether it's the funniest or most intense. Easily, she's a scene stealer and a joy to watch. Notice when she's talking to the camera, it really is if she's speaking to you.

'Cleopatra' is another movie that showcases Aleandro's talent. It's like a breath of fresh air in the countryside. It's a joy to watch.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed