Aquarius ★★★½

TIFF16 Film #8

Reason for pick – took SteveG’s word that Neighbouring Sounds is something we’d love, and this was the director’s newest.

Director Kleber Mendonça Filho crafts a simple story and gives it ample room to breathe. This school of film has us walk in the shoes of the protagonists until we are fully comfortable in them.

Aquarius’s simple premise centres and home and history, and for this to work we must feel something for the history, which is where the film begins; we meet our protagonist in her 20’s, when attachments to house and home are just beginning to take firm root; then life happens to our protagonist, Dona Clara … a passionate marriage, children, and all the things that happens between your 20’s and your 60’s. We don’t see these, and we don’t need to. We rejoin Dona Clara in her sexagenarian years when her home of decades, a home that hold all of those memories, is in danger of being taken from her against her will.

A great commentary on greed, corruption, family dynamics, and self-identity that requires just a little bit of patience.

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