Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Casa De Areia
Brazil, 2005. Columbia TriStar Filmes do Brasil, Conspiração Filmes, Globo Filmes, Lereby Productions, Quanta Centro de Produções Cinematográficas, Teleimage. Story by Luiz Carlos Barreto, Elena Soarez, Andrucha Waddington, Screenplay by Elena Soarez. Cinematography by Ricardo Della Rosa. Produced by Pedro Buarque de Hollanda, Pedro Guimaraes, Leonardo Monteiro de Barros, Andrucha Waddington. Music by Joao Barone, Carlo Bartolini. Production Design by Tule Peak. Costume Design by Claudia Kopke. Film Editing by Sergio Mekler. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
An obsessed man in turn of the century Brazil drags his wife (Fernanda Torres) and aging mother-in-law (Fernanda Montenegro) to the middle of the desert where he builds a house on a sand dune that he has purchased. His workers are scared away by the desolate landscape and nearby community of escaped slaves, then he dies in an accident, leaving the two women in a barely finishome and nothing surrounding them. This multi-generational saga has Torres and Montenegro (who are mother and daughter in life as well as in the film) switch roles as their characters age and reproduce, and both actresses are incredibly effective at conveying their character’s turmoil; however, something about Andrucha Waddington’s direction keeps you from really connecting with them. The images, mostly without dialogue, are ravishing, and the story is definitely interesting even if it isn’t wholly captivating.