Araby ★★★

Social realism with the edges rounded off… A wraparound story gives audiences an entry point into an itinerant worker’s travails in contemporary Brazil. Lush photography, musical interludes and a photogenic lead ensure that we’ll be on board, even as the arc of the story begins to chart out a slow deconstruction of hope. It’s a frequently striking film, even if it’s often too obvious in its design. “Everyone had a story, even the quiet ones,” writes the protagonist. He's as much of a poet at heart as the filmmakers, which is both Araby's greatest strength and weakness.