Regina (Fernanda Montenegro) is a 65-year-old retiree living by herself in Rio de Janeiro, whose high-rise apartment faces the long wall of windows of another, slightly nicer, high-rise apartment building across the street. Hers seems a life of quiet desperation, long walks in the busy streets with her dog, sleepless nights, the occasional outing with her grandson, but mostly one big long sigh of boredom. The first inkling that something is askew is the night she gets dolled up and heads out to a nightclub where she's older than any of the other clientele by at least three decades. Blending in behind the thudding music and grinding couples, she sees a woman being manhandled by some thug, after which Regina buys the woman a drink and starts chatting her up. The next day, the thug is hauled off by the police, and headlines blare about the breaking up of a prostitution ring. Regina's a police informant, codename "Snow White," and it's pretty much the only thing keeping her going.
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It's a fascinating, small, tale, held together by lush photography (and sadly, substantially weakened by a sorry, repetitious score). Montenegro owns the picture, her emotions fully riding the surface of the film. Worth a look, even if you don't care for foreign fare.
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