5 user 32 critic

Casa Grande (2014)

Not Rated | | Drama , Romance | November 2015 (USA)
2:16 | Trailer
Exploring issues of class privilege among Rio's decadent elite, Casa Grande depicts a teenage boy's struggle to escape his overprotective parents as they covertly spiral into bankruptcy.


Fellipe Barbosa
13 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Novaes Marcello Novaes ... Hugo Cavalcanti
Suzana Pires ... Sônia Cavalcanti
Thales Cavalcanti ... Jean Cavalcanti
Clarissa Pinheiro Clarissa Pinheiro ... Rita
Marília Coelho Marília Coelho ... Noêmia
Gentil Cordeiro Gentil Cordeiro ... Severino Marinho
Bruna Amaya Bruna Amaya ... Luiza
Alice Melo Alice Melo ... Nathalie Cavalcanti
Georgiana Góes ... Lia
Sandro Rocha Sandro Rocha ... Wilton
Victor Camelo Victor Camelo
Christian Gazzetta Christian Gazzetta ... Roberto
Lucas Mendes Lucas Mendes
Rodrigo Mazza Rodrigo Mazza
Lucas Cassano Lucas Cassano


Seventeen year old Caucasian high school senior Jean Cavalcanti, who attends a well regarded private boys' school, lives a relatively carefree life of moderate privilege in a security monitored and locked and gated big, custom built house in an affluent neighborhood in suburban Rio de Janeiro with his parents, Hugo and Sônia, fourteen year old sister Nathalie, and a houseful of servants including live-in maid Rita, black evangelical cook Noemia, and chauffeur Severino. Hugo and Sônia are too preoccupied with maintaining their upper middle class lifestyle to do much direct parenting with the exception of ensuring that Jean and Nat play their proper roles to the outside world, such as making sure that Jean gets into a good post-secondary program, something that Jean places little real effort. Not doing well on the college entrance exams may be a problem as the government has just implemented a quota system to balance the inherent disadvantages faced by non-Caucasians. Because of his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Portuguese | French

Release Date:

November 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A gazdag srác See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Migdal Filmes See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Actor Bruno Souza Leão was considered for the role See more »


Sonhador Sonâmbulo (Rabotnik Remix)
Performed by Tono
See more »

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User Reviews

Seems a coming-of-age story but covers many other topics, being based on Freyre's classic book "The Masters and the Slaves"
7 February 2014 | by JvH48See all my reviews

I saw this film at the Rotterdam film festival 2014 (IFFR), where it was programmed as part of the official Tiger Award competition. I neglected my earlier resolutions to not see any coming-of-age story again, as this one seemed different and I booked tickets nevertheless. And it indeed turned out different in the positive sense. A well-to-do family with ample staff gradually falls apart due to financial problems, and (of course) the father tells his family too late what is going on. Staff is dismissed one-by-one, accompanied by many lies to uphold appearances. The coming-of-age as a topic is important only in the first half, and it includes the usual problems with school, looks and girls. Luckily, the story line moves on to something completely different.

During the final Q&A with the director I learned that the film title comes from a classic book (in English translation known as "Masters and Slaves"). The director took advantage of its basic idea, but made a translation to a contemporary situation. Many things have changed in comparison with the book: middle class is growing, being poor is not that poor anymore as it was, and servants need not to be servants as desperately as before. The opening scene with the big house is on purpose, where we see the father turn out all the lights one by one, apparently to save on costs. Immediately after that, the attention moves on to the son, who stays the focus for the rest of the running time.

A special hefty scene with father and son is amplified from the director's own youth, including all the bad words that are uttered, though the director admits to a bit of exaggeration and having made it into a caricature. Another recurring topic is an affirmative action law (quotas for minorities) that was passed just before he shot the movie, and we see several hot discussions pro and con. A final remark from the director was about soap opera's that usually play in similar well-to-do houses, but it seems that the décor is always taken for granted and never discussed. Here the role of the "décor" is very different, and indeed important for the story. There is a second link with soap opera's: the actor playing the son had roles in soap opera's before, and never got a chance for a serious role.

All in all, I was happy having set aside my prejudice against coming-of-age stories. The stories of the different main characters keep our attention throughout the running time, probably due to the fact that there is more than a single main character to follow. Yet, the son gets the most attention, due to his open mind and thus interacting with everyone in spite of them being a "master" or a "servant". This film ranked a 42nd place (out of 200) for the audience award in Rotterdam, average score 4.15 (out of 5).

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