Que Hora Ela Volta? (My Second Mother) – ***

Posted: January 30, 2016 in 2015, Brasil, Dramedy, Social Drama, XXX

 

 

This Brazilian dramedy is predictable, simplistic and tame. But it’s also very universal and comical. It delivers on many fronts. The underlying theme is quite serious, but it’s presented in such a lighthearted way that it feels great. Not all social dramas have to be dead serious! Some can have a happy end and feel good.

The whole movie scores because of the performance of Regina Casé, who would have been a great candidate to represent the latina community at the Oscars. She’s playing Val, a middle aged woman who left the poorer Northeast to work as a maid for a rich family in Sao Paulo. She’s been doing it for quite some years and helped raise the family’s son Fabinho, who considers her as a second mother. She knows her place in the household and doesn’t think about it that much.

But everything changes with the arrival of her adolescent daughter who wants to study at the Sao Paulo university. Val doesn’t have her proper house and so the daughter moves in with the wealthy family, who react differently to the presence of this sassy, confident and intelligent woman.

Both mother and daughter are excellent performers, but it’s especially Regina Casé who steals the show. Director Anna Muylaert also deserves a lot of credit. She tells the story in a visual way (focussing on facial expressions and gestures) and frames the scenes excellently. She also adds social commentary without being too harsh and biased.

If you know a bit about Brazil, you’ll love some of the references, but if you don’t, you’ll enjoy it as well. It’s a very universal film that will appeal to people all over the world. Another proof that Hollywood has become part of world cinema and quality in storytelling and visualization is no longer an exclusive Californian thing.

Worth checking out

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3742378/

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