Reaching for the Moon (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Reaching for the Moon (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Reaching for the Moon Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

DAYS IN SEPTEMBER, DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS) returns with a sophisticated tale of an unlikely romance between two extraordinary artists, set against the backdrop of political upheaval and a clash of cultures. Grappling with writer's block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). Hoping to find inspiration on Mary's sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more - a tempestuous relationship with Mary's bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Glória Pires), that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists. The attraction of two polar-opposite women has rarely been so volatile and so erotically charged on the big screen.(c) Wolfemore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Julie Sayres, Matthew Chapman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 11, 2014
Wolfe Releasing - Official Site


Miranda Otto
as Elizabeth Bishop
Gloria Pires
as Lota de Macedo Soare...
Treat Williams
as Robert Lowell
Marcello Airoldi
as Carlos Lacerda
Lola Kirke
as Margareth
Tania Costa
as Dindinha
Marcio Ehrlich
as Jose Eduardo Soares
Angelina DosSantos
as Clara 5 Years Old
Angelina Dos Santos
as Clara 5 Years Old
Kiria Malheiros
as Clara 8 Years Old
as Crioulo
Isio Ghelman
as Dr. Jorge
David Herman
as US Ambassador
Sonia Glatt
as Ambassador's Wife
Emmanuel Pasqualini
as Captain of the Ship
Ellaine Nollet
as Woman on the Ship 1
Jennifer Byers
as Woman on the Ship 2
Roberto DeMartin
as Hospital Doctor
Erica Migon
as Clara's Mother
Evandro Melo
as Samambaia's Handyman
Gabriela Luiz
as Bar Tender
Cesar Mello
as Jose Eduardo's Nurse
Evandro Machado
as Taxi Driver
Alex Brasil
as Dock Porter
Edmilson Santini
as Construction Worker ...
Rafael Zolly
as Construction Worker ...
Fabricio Santiago
as Construction Worker ...
Beto Quirino
as Housekeeper Samambai...
Luigi Matheus
as Children 1
Fernanda Borsoni
as Children 2
Nathalia Alvim
as Children 3
Chico Pelúcio
as Man in Train Station
Beatriz Campos
as Night Club Singer
Rogerio Brito
as Night Club Piano Pla...
Francisco Nilson
as Night Club Base Play...
Marconi Bruno
as Night Club Drum Play...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Reaching for the Moon

Critic Reviews for Reaching for the Moon

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (9)

Attention is retained by the commendably unhistrionic leads, who convincingly etch the pair's enduring devotion even when passions run dry.

Full Review… | March 31, 2015
Top Critic

The life of American Poet Laureate Elizabeth Bishop furnishes surprisingly vivid emotional material in Reaching for the Moon.

Full Review… | March 31, 2015
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

It's hard not to admire the intentions of a movie that depicts two exceptional women living exactly the way they wanted, together, outside the expected societal norms of the time. But the tone of the film itself feels unfortunately conventional.

Full Review… | March 31, 2015
Top Critic

If Blue Is the Warmest Color is the gloriously messy supernova of this year's lesbian dramas, this is the J. Peterman catalog version: elegant, tasteful, and two-dimensional.

Full Review… | March 31, 2015
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

A classy, grown-up drama.

Full Review… | April 15, 2014
Time Out
Top Critic

Despite the film doing some clunky biopic things, Otto gives this more than enough reason enough to fly down to Rio.

Full Review… | May 23, 2016
New Zealand Herald

Audience Reviews for Reaching for the Moon


An irregular story, at times melodramatic and full of those clichés that plague most biopics (despite a nice speech scene that sounds relevant even today when it comes to dictatorships), with characters who seem like mere drafts and never become complex enough to make us care.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


With her suffering from severe writer's block in New York City in 1951, the poet Elizabeth Bishop(Miranda Otto) decides, as her friend Robert Lowell(Treat Williams) would put it, to take the 'geographical cure' by traveling to Rio de Janeiro to visit her friend Mary(Tracy Middendorf) from Vassar. There, she finds but is not shocked by Mary being involved in a romantic relationship with Lota(Gloria Pires), a wealthy architect, who lives in the country. Then, Elizabeth literally and figuratively bites off more than she can chew, by beginning an affair with Lota, while Lota promises Mary a puppy, no wait, to adopt a baby if she will stay.

Once upon a time, the director Bruno Barreto made a wild movie called "Dona Flor and her Two Husbands" about a unique relationship. Now, he returns with "Reaching for the Moon" which is also about an intriguing relationship(the movie could just as easily be called "Dona Lota and Her Two Wives") which is grounded in reality and a true story with relationships and performances that ring true.(In fact, nobody does flustered better than Miranda Otto.) At the beginning, Elizabeth seems inexperienced but gains confidence and grows as a person throughout the film. A lot of that has to do with her creative input and success, as the movie also serves as a fine look at the creative process, both poetic and architectural, with a fine use of modernist design.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Between a 5/10 and 6/10, despite the film's shortcomings, this story of a decade-long affair that poet Elizabeth Bishop had with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares manages to hold your attention, and largely because of the characters.

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