Hard Labor

2015

Hard Labor (2015)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Young housewife Helena is on the verge of fulfilling a dream as she prepares to open her own business: a neighborhood grocery store. She hires a maid, Paula, to take care of her house and daughter. But when her husband Otavio is suddenly fired from his job as an insurance executive, Helena is left to support the family alone. As Otavio fails to find work and becomes increasingly alienated, business struggles to take off and the pressure on Helena mounts. To make things worse, she discovers that one of the building's brick walls seems to be crumbling. Helena begins to wonder if that may be the cause of all her problems.

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Critic Reviews for Hard Labor

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

At its best, the film has the quality of a nightmare, one that keeps happening whether the characters are asleep or awake.

Apr 7, 2016 | Full Review…

The filmmakers, largely forgoing a soundtrack, skillfully manipulate stillness, silence and anomie to unsettling effect - at times evoking the ambient dread and decay of, say, Roman Polanski's "Repulsion."

Oct 29, 2015 | Full Review…

The film's brittle and quiet, on occasion touched with the techniques of horror.

Oct 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Although some of the detours into thriller territory feel forced, it builds a quiet tension around its characters and their uncertain future.

Nov 6, 2015 | Full Review…

Hard Labor is a smart, sneaky little shocker whose subtexts add depth to its haunted-house framework and pay off in a final scene that's both weirdly off-kilter and entirely logical.

Oct 29, 2015 | Full Review…

The allegorical possibilities of a disintegrating wall point to a film that could have been.

Oct 26, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hard Labor

Unusual, interesting Brazilian film about the current labour market, told through three very different characters in the same household. The crumbling wall of Helena's store and the reason for it create an element of suspense, which struck me as unnecessary at first, but actually adds an interesting layer to the storytelling. The symbolism is a bit too much, however, and the characterizations too flat.

Ina S
Ina S

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