A well-ordered hardware store owner in Buenos Aires will see his life turn upside down when he helps a stranded Chinese man who doesn't speak a word of Spanish find his uncle in the bustling city. But can this coexistence bear fruit?
Muriel Santa Ana,
Late in 2001, tough economic times in Buenos Aires mean that Beba, a slim, blond, and privileged divorcée, has no money to pay Dora, a doughy, nearly-silent maid who has lived with her for almost 30 years. Dora breaths in her dignity and resigns. She wants to finish work on her own house, with her less than reliable mate, Miguel. She also looks for a new job. Beba asks her ex-husband for financial help. He demurs. Can Beba adjust to new realities, find a way to pay Dora, and honor her lifetime of service, and can either make a life without the other? Does sisterhood cross class lines?Written by
This film to me is undoubtedly one of the rare and stupendous examples of what they call (in the best sense possible) - an "actors' director", or in this case, rather - an actresses' one. I shall not bore you with the plot, it is all in the respective IMDb section, instead I will tell why I consider this a must-see for anyone who appreciates stories about relationships, who enjoys and values the intricacies of a female character (in this case - two rather opposite ones) beautifully unfolded. The love-and-hate relationship between the lady of the house (a bit delusional, totally broke and trying desperately to save her face) and her mucama, played to perfection by the grand Norma Aleandro and the fantastic discovery of Jorge Gaggero - Norma Argentina. What amazes me is how incredibly sensitive the director is to the enormous difference in characters of the actresses and their approaches, how seamlessly he makes that gap serve the purpose of his brilliantly written story. Every scene is a master class in subtlety, wit and purposefulness. In my view, many new directors will benefit enormously if they watch the film with an open mind. I was astonished by the fact that Ms. Argentina had never appeared on screen or stage before, she is breathtakingly effective in every shot, and the honest simplicity she contrasts to Aleandro's sophistication is a delight to observe. Absolutely recommended - the film is made with very apparent love for the woman, for Argentina and exquisite artistic taste and mastery. 10/10 from me.
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