In 1594 in Brazil, the Tupinambás Indians are friends of the French and their enemies are the Tupiniquins, friends of the Portuguese. A Frenchman (Arduíno Colassanti) is captured by the ... See full summary »
Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Ana Maria Magalhães,
Eduardo Imbassahy Filho
Five maids in São Paulo are observed in this episodic, impressionistic film. The women interact with each other, ride busses, work, and have longings: Rai for a husband, Créo for her lost ... See full summary »
Grappling with writer's block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary. Hoping to find inspiration on her sprawling estate, but she winds up with much more - a tempestuous relationship with her bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares, that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists.Written by
A melodramatic movie about a melodramatic situation
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.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this