The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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The Second Mother's compelling characters serve an artfully drawn, thought-provoking story that's beautifully brought to life by a talented cast.
All Critics (85)
| Top Critics (24)
| Fresh (82)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (1)
All the elements of the story fit impeccably together for a humorous and occasionally wrenching examination of relationships.
The characters are so accustomed to keeping up appearances that they can't bring themselves to say what's bugging them. Their interactions may be mild, but the claustrophobic imagery creates the sense of being trapped in a powder keg.
Though hardly revolutionary, "Mother" subverts conventions - both cinematic and social.
The Second Mother is an interesting look at generational and class divides in Brazil, without the feel of a lecture or lesson.
We've seen plenty of stories about the arrival of a mysterious stranger upsetting the order of things. But "The Second Mother," Brazilian writer and director Anna Muylaert's outstanding film, is different.
The characters' pigeonholed social roles display Muylaert's intentions from the start and render the drama superfluous.
The ending kind of ruined this film for me, but I still recommend watching. Regina Casé shines as Val and the rest of the cast is similarly superb.
Themes of classism and motherhood run deep as lines are crossed and characters maneuver their way through uncomfortable domestic situations.
The movie examines what it means to be a mother - is it a matter of proximity or of love? And what are we to do when those two pieces are at odds?
A captious exploration of caste and class tensions in contemporary Brazil through the story of a maid. [Full review in Spanish]
The Second Mother is an important film on many fronts including as a social reflection of the Brazilian class system, as a powerful and engaging work of art, and its place in contemporary cinema made by women.
This wry and warm Brazilian take on the upstairs-downstairs divide (in Portuguese, with subtitles) centres on the meaning of motherhood, formed by love but also shaped by economic and social pressures.
Regina Casé is wonderful at the center of a marvelous character study that is equally hilarious and thought-provoking as it comments - always in an intelligent and honest way - on matters like class differences in a country that has been undergoing surprising social changes.
At the heart of The Second Mother is a warm, humorous, gently nuanced performance from Regina Casé, a veteran actress of the Brazilian stage and TV. Her daughter's contemptuous attitude arises out of Jessica's refusal to accept the social class disparity that separates her mother from her supervisors. Val's exasperated protestations are amusing, but also quite reasonable. You sympathize with Val. There is a resilience and dignity to her within her deferential demeanor. Her strained relationship with her own daughter is contrasted with the beloved esteem to which her employers' son, regards her. And why shouldn't he? Val raised him from a toddler to adolescence, while her biological offspring is but a stranger to her. Ironically Fabinho's connection with his own mother is more distant. This slight, at times inconsequential drama, ambles along at a leisurely pace through a series of circumstances that underlie hierarchical social categories in South American life. The examination culminates more with a whimper than a bang, but the journey to get there is fairly interesting nonetheless.
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