AQUARIUS (2016)

 

A film that has probably one of the most fascinating, strong and magnetic female characters in cinema in recent years.
Lucía Ros Serra
Espinof

At the age of 82 I have lived 53 years in our house. The tearoom, craft shop, butcher, greengrocer and baker of the main street have given way to fast food establishments, a betting shop and convenience stores. High rise buildings and a multitude of towers shadow the bungalows and old trees of the quiet streets and the heavy traffic is polluting the air.
Ken Loach’s best films came to mind on my first realising the blend of political and personal insights in Aquarius (2016). But it is the middle class background and a lifetime of changes that resonated with me in this extraordinary complex and rich film.
I must admit that I have to ignore many aspects of this film, in particular the Brasilian political situation and the importance of a music and songs that I am not versed in.

Kléber Mendonça Filho’s treatment of the changes that occur as one ages, the importance of space, time, memories, family relationships, intergenerational friendships, sexuality, dreams, corruption, touched me deeply. In the three parts of this two and a half hour film, he tells the story of an old woman’s resistance to the intrusion in her life of the corrupt housing development project.

I have tried to summarise the narrative, characterisation, cinematography for this blog but every time I consulted the footage I discovered a new fascinating and significant detail. I am longing to do a detailed textual analysis of every aspect of the film.
In the meantime below a limited list of capsule reviews that may encourage my readers to watch this amazing film.

There’s an expansiveness to this film’s intelligence; it has a diffuse narrative focus, bringing in a host of scenes, https://www.theguardian.com › Arts › Movies › World cinemaSonia Braga in Aquarius.

Clara may be the motor that keeps the film’s intricate story turning, but every last cogwheel proves to be indispensable …www.telegraph.co.uk/films/…/aquarius-will-make-you-want-to-move-to-brazil—review…

A nuanced portrait of a badass ladywww.irishtimes.com/…/film/aquarius-review-a-nuanced-portrait-of-a-badass-lady-

Clara, the resplendent 65-year-old protagonist of Aquarius, is destined to take her place among cinema’s most valiant and tenacious …
https://www.filmcomment.com/…/review-aquarius-kleber-mendonca-filho-sonia-brag…

Led by a powerful performance from Sonia Braga, Aquarius uses a conflict between a tenant and developers to take an insightful look at the relationship between space and identity.
Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus.

Sonia Braga plays Clara. She covers a range from sweetly adoring gramma to tough momma with chiding children, from a political beast to a woman longing for physical love. Martha K. Baker KDHX (St. Louis)

A film that has probably one of the most fascinating, strong and magnetic female characters in cinema in recent years. [Full review in Spanish]Lucía Ros Serra
Espinof

A slow-burn battle between a woman and the developers trying to drive her from her home is a melancholy meditation on aging, memory, and family.
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

Clara is a creation that could slot into almost any cultural environment. In every street there’s a woman determined to live life as it should be lived.
Donald Clarke
Irish Times

A drama that’s credible, complex and very satisfying.
Geoff Andrew
Time Out

 

 

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
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