La Nana (The Maid) (2009)
Critic Consensus: Catalina Saavedra's devastating performance would be reason enough to see The Maid, but Sebastian Silva's empathetic direction and finely tuned script only add to the movie's pleasing heft.
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as Pilar Valdes
as Mundo Valdes
as Lucas Valdes
as Mamá de Lucy
as Papá de Lucy
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Critic Reviews for La Nana (The Maid)
As played by Catalina Saavedra, she's a guarded, ruthless, but ultimately poignant character, and writer-director Sebastian Silva studies the levers of power inside the little household as if it were the Politburo.
Deadpan, handheld technique allows director Sebastián Silva to mine mundane situations for subtle hazard but also to take his story in unexpected directions, initial reticence preserving the potential for surprise.
As unlikable -- and unstable -- as the character is, Saavedra finds a way for the audience to care about Raquel deeply and even to root for her to come out on top with her childish evil plots.
Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes unsettling, and always engrossing, The Maid is a domestic drama about the gulf that exists at impossibly close quarters between the worlds of upstairs and downstairs, the worlds of employer and household servant,
Fun for a while but increasingly tedious...
It's tough and unsentimental, with a documentary aesthetic that belies the craft of the calibrated tension.
Audience Reviews for La Nana (The Maid)
Dark and unforgettable. Silva crafts an atmosphere that allows the audience to experience the unexpected turns and actions of the lead character to almost be forgivable. It is this mix of style, story, fine acting and surprising story to blend into an odd and potent thriller.
I loved this satirical look at the class system in Latin-American culture (in this instance: Chile)! But, under the surface of an obvious social commentary lies a tender story of a woman who is adamantly entrenched in her role as a no-nonsense housekeeper when what she really needs is, quite simply, a helping hand in her own life.
"The Maid" is an incisive character study that is almost bookended by a pair of birthday celebrations, the first one for Raquel(Catalina Saavedra), the maid on occasion of her 41st birthday. While not really similar nor approaching its level of mayhem, I could not but also think of "Murderous Maids" and recalling Sylvie Testud saying that events would not have happened in that movie if her character had not been treated so nicely. And that's also true of the family in "The Maid" as Pilar(Claudia Celedon) and Mundo(Alejandro Goic) have worked to make Raquel an informal part of their family, as she has been employed there twenty years. It is also for this reason that they are looking for a little extra help for Raquel since they feel the house is too large anymore for her take care of by herself, especially in light of her headaches and taking a header down a flight of stairs. Raquel is adamant in refusing help, having already driven one other maid from the house but Pilar overrules her with the hiring of Mercedes(Mercedes Villanueva) from Peru. Raquel is even in a running battle with Camila(Andrea Garcia-Huidobro), the eldest daughter. Raquel's behavior emanates from the job becoming her entire life and she is the type of person who can never retire because she would not know what to do with herself otherwise(Compared to the people who cannot retire because they cannot afford to.) whereas Pilar might have a job and Mundo spends all of his time on model boats and golfing. As a family of luxury, they have a house fitting their status and nearly all of the action is filmed there. Don't get me wrong. It is beautiful but it does become claustrophobic with a hint of sexual frustration in the air and it is a relief when the action is occasionally set elsewhere.
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