In 1980s Brazil, struggling author Mathias (Cassel) is on a beach holiday with his wife Clarice (Bloch) and their three children. The eldest, 14-year-old Filipa (Neiva), isn't quite aware of the tension between her parents, so when she discovers that her beloved dad is having an affair with an American woman (Belle), she's furious. She of course feels much more grown-up than she is. And while trying to figure out how to confront her father, she starts flirting with Artur (Passi), who clearly loves her, and other men too.
Continue reading: Adrift [a Deriva] Review
The woman (Julianne Moore) tags along with her ophthalmologist husband (Mark Ruffalo) when he is struck by the blindness and sent to the initial holding facility for the infected. Visually plagued by random flashes of pure white, the film hams up Saramago's eloquent metaphor as the wards of the facility become factions. One splinter supports a dictator (Gael García Bernal) and an accountant (Maury Chaykin) who garner the entirety of the rations supplied by the army. Possessions and eventually women are traded for meager portions as the nameless woman begins to consider her tolerance in the face of a shadowy, violent orgy that even Argentine provocateur Gaspar Noé might find a little too much.
Continue reading: Blindness Review
Morelli, a veteran of the television series, continues to document the lives of two young men that make their home in the area known as Dead End Hill. One, a young father named Ace (Darlan Cunha), has a problem paying attention to his son while also trying to excise his youthful indiscretions. The other, a motorcycle-taxi driver named Wallace (Douglas Silva), wants to find his father before he gets his ID card for his 18th birthday. These young roustabouts, especially Ace, find themselves in the middle of a turf war between likable though snotty gang leader Midnight (Jonathan Haagensen) and his right-hand man Fasto (Eduardo BR).
Continue reading: City Of Men Review
The film is shot in pseudo-documentary format and follows five women's lives as domestic laborers and their bleak existence outside of their jobs. One thing they all share is a deep hatred of their employers, who oddly are never shown in the film. While they all have different reasons for ending up in their current occupation, the most frequent explanation is that the women were born into it. In fact, the most profound statement of the entire movie is the very first line, when a housemaid talks about a long lineage of maids dating back to the days of slavery. Frighteningly, the lack of upward mobility associated with their jobs still eerily mirrors a form of indentured servitude.
Continue reading: Domésticas Review
Rocket, City of God's young protagonist agrees, even though he grew up there. His story spans two decades (as far as I can tell, from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s) in this arid housing project 15 miles outside of Rio De Janeiro, beginning with him as a child looking up to the local hoods as they rob delivery trucks, and ending with him photographing them for the local newspaper as they kill each other. And while there were good times, Rocket's narration indicates that he doesn't miss them much. "This is where the politicians dump their garbage", he says. "Criminals? Homeless families? Pack 'em up and send them to City of God!"
Continue reading: City Of God Review
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