Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-storey building, built in the 1940s, in the upper-class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighboring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future.


Kleber Mendonça Filho

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by massashihosono-1 10 /10

Don't judge this movie by trolling reviews

Aquarius is a movie that tries to catch the audience by showing our almost forgotten resilience, commitment to individual values and beliefs. The main plot is a story about a wealthy lady facing a frequent and "polite" invitation to sell her apartment for a greedy and ruthless real state company who wants to put down her old building. Meanwhile, she not only tries to keep her place, but to buy other units.

Movie's director, Kleber Mendonça, is a very skilled storyteller when it comes to expose the most bitter side of Brazilian's contradictory elite society. I've watched all his movies and shorts and I must tell, they are not comfortable. Yet they disclose things that either we don't talk about or we don't clearly see. It's a mind blowing criticism over our cultural trends and social costumes.

As for the main actress, Sonia Braga is one of the most iconic actresses in Brazil. She moved to US to live a relationship with Robert Redford, another great actor and director. As years passed by, she did connected with America's movie industry, though she never left her carrier in Brazil entirely.

In 2013 Kleber wrote a script that according to Sonia, while reading it, was a "present" from its author. So he invited her and she promptly replied. The result is this movie where, as The Telegraph correctly said, "will make you want to move to Brazil".

Reviewed by marcosleekim-955-164864 9 /10

Ignoring all the political controversy surrounding this movie, what remains is a fantastic story.

It is sad that a powerful movie like this is contaminated by political ideology from both sides. Although I don't necessarily agree with any of the positions brought forth by the makers of this movie, this is still a fantastic piece of art, a fantastic story about the struggles of a middle-aged woman against not only a very real real estate speculation movement in Brazil, but also against her past, the upper-middle class blame, the old age labels, her family, all directed by probably the greatest living director of Brazil today.

From IMDb synopsis, Clara, a 65-year-old upper-middle class mother of 3 children, refuses to sell her apartment, the last still occupied, to a big real estate company, built in the upper class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. Pledging to only leave her place upon her death, her building is probably the last remnant of a not so long ago past. Facing this conflict ahead mostly by herself, she will reflect upon her past and future and give her new strength.

Although the story can seem to be a bit clichéd, the movie excels in representing a middle-aged woman in an unique and independent way, something rarely seen in movies, where usually these characters are simply secondary, caricatures. There will be no big reveals and big turns, it is a mostly linear story (quite different from Kleber Mendonça Filho last movie, "O Som ao Redor", also critically acclaimed). But the way the director tells the story is what is so great. With a technique so sharp, he creates tension throughout the whole movie in ordinary situations (his trademark, an influence from John Carpenter), like in the scene where Clara and the real estate manager are simply maneuvering cars in the building's garage. This tension is what carries the whole movie, until the powerful ending.

In addition, the greater part of the movie has no actual direct connection to the its apparent central plot. Clara attending parties, talking to the lifesaver, walking with her nephew, having family meeting is what fleshes out her character, telling so much about her personality and her past indirectly, and this is the film's greatest strength. The moment she has with her 3 kids is maybe one of the greatest scenes in Brazilian cinema.

Forget all the political ideology. Watch it for what this movie really is, a powerful, fantastic piece of art.

Reviewed by diogo_chalegre 10 /10

Great Movie

First of all I'd like to apologize myself due any English mistakes.

I didn't understand those bad reviews that I just read here. In fact the movie is simple, with a simple a story but very emotional. Here in Brazil we face racism and a social fight which is pointed out in the movie.

The actors are good and Sônia Braga spectacular. I could see this movie more ten times and I am sure that I would always have something to learn.

I'm giving you this review without political issues, I am just a cinema lover. Do not miss the opportunity to see how prejudice and racism are frequent around the world. Also you're gonna experiment a time travel throughout the memories!

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