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.