Should there still be a Brazil after the World Cup, the Olympic Games, and the Zika virus? Absolutely. Aquarius by the former film critic Kleber Mendonça Filho is cinema to be reckoned with.
It is a melancholy, layered, nuanced portrait of a woman, of a time, and of a country. Sonia Braga deserves a shower of awards for her phenomenal performance as the unforgettable Clara. This rich widow and retired music critic is the only person living in an apartment building who refuses to sell her apartment to a property developer who wants to build a skyscraper there.
Why should she? The view of the coast is as priceless as all the memories of her long life that are wrapped up in the place. The developer tries to chase her out, unbridled capitalism at its worst, but Clara is a woman at her best. Sensible, experienced, uncompromising, and even a little bit sexy. The fact that she also has her dark side makes this encounter all the more fascinating.
BR, 2016, dir.: Kleber Mendonça Filho, act.: Sonia Braga, Maeve Jinkin, 142 min.