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Country: Brazil, Language: Portuguese, 100 mins

  • Director: Pedro Freire
  • Writer: Pedro Freire
  • Producer: Roberto Berliner, Sabrina Garcia, Tatiana Leite, Leo Ribeiro, Carlos Eduardo Valinoti

CGiii Comment

Malu — a mercurial, unemployed actress living with her conservative mother in a precarious house in a Rio de Janeiro slum — tries to deal with her strained relationship with her own adult daughter while surviving on memories of her glorious artistic past.

Director Pedro Freire artfully depicts the tumultuous, at times toxic, relationship between three generations of outspoken women in his energetic feature debut, Malu. Freire’s script carefully delineates how the ripples of generational trauma have permanently poisoned the family’s ties, but a tattered, instinctual affection lingers beneath the resentments, as the women alternatively hurt and protect, offend, and care for one another.

At the center is the larger-than-life Malu — a woman compelled to reassert her connection to her faded stardom at any cost — embodied by Yara de Novaes in a performance that masterfully balances volatility, magnetism, and vulnerability. Actors Carol Duarte and Juliana Carneiro da Cunha ably offer support and depth as Malu’s frustrated daughter and feisty, embittered mother, respectively, as the fluctuating chemistry of their fraught familial dynamic further illuminates this fascinating, imperfect woman.—HZ


Cast & Characters

Yara de Novaes (as Malu)
Juliana Carneiro da Cunha (as Lili)
Carol Duarte (as Joana)
Átila Bee (as Tibira)
Marcio Vito (as Padre)
Marina Provenzzano (as Clara)
Felipe Haiut (as Rodrigo)