Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho.
Starring: Sônia Braga. Brazil /France 2016. 146 mins. Portuguese with English subtitles.
A tale of individual resistance in the face of rapacious corporate greed, Aquarius takes its title from the Recife apartment block that has been home to widowed music critic Clara (Braga) for close to 40 years. Situated overlooking a popular beach, Aquarius has been earmarked by a slick property developer as an investment opportunity. His determination to turn the aged apartment block into luxury flats is matched by Clara’s refusal to be ousted from a place that, to her, is rich in memories and secrets. Giving one of the year’s very best performances, Sônia Braga is outstanding as the feisty, proud but vulnerable Clara.
Kleber Mendonça Filho’s 2012 feature debut, the slow-burning thriller Neighbouring Sounds, boldly announced a major new voice in Brazilian cinema, and Aquarius is every bit as impressive as its acclaimed predecessor.
Director: Nicolas Pesce.
Starring: Kika Magalhaes, Diane Agostini, Will Brill. USA 2016. 76 mins.
Nicholas Pesce’s debut feature tells the coming-of-age story of Francisca (Magalhaes), a young woman exploring her ever-evolving morbid curiosities. Living a quiet existence on a secluded farmhouse somewhere in neglected rural America, Francisca’s life is irrevocably disrupted by an unwelcome visitor that shatters her family and unchains a series of increasingly violent rituals. A disturbingly gorgeous examination of madness, loneliness and obsession, The Eyes Of My Mother makes for a twisted Mother’s Day treat.
Director: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford . USA 2017. 104 mins.
American sitcom star Jordan Peele turns writer/director for this smartly observed, almost Hitchcockian comedy thriller concerning Chris (Kaluuya) and Rose (Williams), who’ve reached the stage in their relationship when it’s time for him to meet her parents. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pan out as planned: Rose hasn’t told her parents that Chris is black, and despite their best efforts to appear liberal, her somewhat creepy mum and dad are revealed as being anything but.