Sunday, January 22, 2017


Movie Name: Aquarius
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Kleber Mendonca Filho
Stars: Sonia Braga, Maeve Jinkings, Irandhir Santos, Humberto Carrao, Zoraide Coleto, Fernando Teixeira, Buda Lira, Paula de Renor, Barbara Colen, Daniel Porpino, Pedro Queiroz, Carla Ribas
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer Here

"Aquarius" is the second film from Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho, and premiered to acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival of 2016. The film follows the story of Clara, a widower in her 60s, who happens to be last inhabitant of a building where all the other tenants have already sold their condos, and have moved on. Clara has lived in that apartment for decades, and leads a quiet and peaceful life, with her daily routines and habits. Her children are somewhat preoccupied with the outcome of the situation, since the real estate company that bought the building, wants Clara out, and she's determined not to sell. The company is definitely embarking in processes to force Clara out, though she's a resilient person, intent on staying in the place that defined part of her existence, where she raised her children and ultimately where she and her husband had a life together.
Kleber Mendoca Filho has built this finely detailed film, showing insight into the life of an aging person, with a life that is filled with challenges, needs and joys. Clara is the epitome of a certain generation in Brazil: a woman who grew up in the 70s and 80s and experienced dictatorship, and the musical boom and how that cultural relevance impacted Brazilian society. She's managed to build a comfortable life for herself and her children, and appreciates the universe she moves in. It's a film that astutely details habits, and the different relationships that people build, in order to keep going against difficulties and challenges that appear. Sonia Braga is fantastic in this role, giving this woman a wounded aspect to her, yet making her strong and resourceful. She loves her children and family, and stops at nothing to defend her microcosms. A slow moving drama, filled with detail and feeling. Worth watching.