Reaching for the Moon


Reaching for the Moon

Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 37


Audience Score

User Ratings: 500
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Reaching for the Moon 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) Wolfe

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Miranda Otto
as Elizabeth Bishop
Gloria Pires
as Lota de Macedo Soares
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 Park
Rafael Zolly
as Construction Worker 1 Samamnbaia
Fabricio Santiago
as Construction Worker 2 Samambaia
Beto Quirino
as Housekeeper Samambaia
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 Player
Francisco Nilson
as Night Club Base Player
Marconi Bruno
as Night Club Drum Player
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Critic Reviews for Reaching for the Moon

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (13)

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

    Mar 31, 2015 | Full Review…

    Guy Lodge

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

    Mar 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.

    Mar 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.

    Mar 31, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Its strength is its two beautifully observed complementary performances.

    Jul 17, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • All the film's dynamism lies in the script and performances: Miranda Otto's Elizabeth is a perceptive, self-absorbed boozer; Glória Pires's Lota is an energetic, elitist bully.

    Apr 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | 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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