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Reaching for the Moon's uptight sensibilities sometimes play more pretentious than poetic, but solid performances and sumptuous photography leave a lingering longing for love in the tropics. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) has a love affair with architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Gloria Pires).

Cast & Crew

Gloria Pires
Lota de Macedo Soares
Miranda Otto
Elizabeth Bishop
Marcello Airoldi
Carlos Lacerda
Treat Williams
Robert Lowell
Lola Kirke
Margaret Bennett
Marcio Ehrlich
José Eduardo Macedo Soares
Rômulo Marinho Jr.
Executive Producer
Penny Wolf
Executive Producer
Marcelo Zarvos
Original Music
Mauro Pinheiro Jr.
Cinematographer
Leticia Giffoni
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Reaching for the Moon

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (13)

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

    March 31, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The life of American Poet Laureate Elizabeth Bishop furnishes surprisingly vivid emotional material in Reaching for the Moon.

    March 31, 2015 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    March 31, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    March 31, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Opulently shot and designed, full of spectacular, tourist brochure-style imagery of Brazilian buildings and landscapes, the film teeters on the edge of novelettish melodrama throughout.

    March 31, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The period detail is finely caught, the lovemaking scenes achieve a tenderness and intimacy rare in contemporary cinema, and for good measure a political coup is happening offstage. We more than get our money's worth.

    July 23, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Reaching for the Moon

  • May 01, 2014
    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 M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 24, 2013
    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

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