Alice's House (2008)
Critic Consensus: Chico Teixeira's steady hand and unblinking, sympathetic eye -- along with Carla Ribas' breathtaking performance -- make this portrait of working-class Brazilian life extraordinary.
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as Dona Jarcia
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Critic Reviews for Alice's House
First-time director Chico Teixeira, an accomplished maker of documentaries in Brazil, brings a similar nonfiction feel to this melodramatic milieu, which is kick-started when Alice contemplates having an affair of her own with a former sweetheart.
Nothing much happens in Alice's House, and a turning point in the plot is terribly contrived, but as sociology and maybe even a pilot for a soap serial, the movie is worth a look.
Even though it sounds awfully depressing, there's something moving about watching people go at their lives with everything they have -- or don't have.
Like a Brazilian telenovela unfolding in real time, the film fans its cards out slowly until we can see for ourselves the deck is stacked.
Although the characters are steeped in the culture of telenovelas and voodoo superstition, Alice's House is a subtly flavorful slice of life rather than a steamy potboiler.
Audience Reviews for Alice's House
[font=Century Gothic]In "Alice's House," Alice(Carla Ribas), the mother of three sons, lives in a cramped apartment that also includes her mother(Berta Zemel). Her husband, Lindomar(Zecarlos Machado) is a cab driver who is carrying on with a neighborhood teenager, Thais(Mariana Leighton). Their oldest son, Lucas(Vinicius Zinn) who is 21, is in the army, supplementing his income by having sex with other men and gives romantic tips to his younger brother, Junior(Felipe Massuia). During the day, Alice works at a beauty salon whose best customer is Carmen(Renata Zhaneta), wife to Nilson(Luciano Quirino) who owns a car dealership. Nilson turns out to be an old flame of Alice's.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Alice's House" starts slowly but builds to a powerfully ironic finale. And it has a great way of capturing everyday life in the smallest of gestures, especially in the closeups of the hands of standees on a bus, signifying how much everybody is holding on for dear life in modern society. At the same time, everybody in Alice's family is looking upwards, even if they are not exerting much effort in the process.(Thus serving as a temporary ceasefire in the class war.) Even though they live a decent enough life, the situation of their living quarters has slowly eroded the solidarity of the family bonds over the years. [/font]
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