AWFJ Movie of the Week, August 24-30: THE SECOND MOTHER

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second mother poster Opening July 1, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Second Mother, Brazilian writer/director Anna Muylaert’s tale of a household thrown into upheaval by the sudden arrival of the live-in housekeeper’s estranged daughter Read on…

The brilliant Regina Case is housekeeper Val, who is also happy playing ‘second mother’ to her wealthy employer’s teenage son. When her own adolescent daughter Edna (Helena Albergaria) arrives, however, the household dynamics are thrown into upheaval and the divide between rich and poor becomes increasingly pronounced…

Film-maker Muylaert has won multiple awards and nominations for her previous works like Durval Records (2004) and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (2009), and The Second Mother was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance and won both the C.I.C.A.E. Award and the Panorama Audience Award in Berlin. It’s easy to see why it’s been picking up so many accolades; Muylaert’s expert, nuanced exploration of inter-familial relationships, particularly those between women, is a joy to behold, played beautifully by the exceptional cast.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Jennifer Merin: Brazilian filmmaker Anna Muylaert’s The Second Mother is a beautifully crafted drama about the interaction between wealthy urban Latin American families and their maids, most of whom come from impoverished rural environments. Val (brilliantly played by Regina Case) is content in her role as ‘second mother’ to a wealthy Rio de Janiero family’s now teenage son, until her own teenage daughter, who’d been raised by relatives in the countryside, comes to town to live with her mother while she attends university. The household’s patron-employee dynamics are suddenly thrown into turmoil, reflecting women’s perspectives – those of writer-director Anna Muylaert, as well as those of the film’s well-conceived, scripted and realized female characters – on current class conflict, as it impacts women, in a most compelling and compassionate way. This film is a must see.

Film Details:
Title: The Second Mother
Director: Anna Muylaert
Release Date: August 28, 2015
Running Time: 112 mins
Language: Portugese
Principal Cast: Regina Case, Helena Albergaria, Karine Teles, Michel Joelsas
Screenwriter: Anna Muylaert
Production Companys: Gullane Filmes, Africa Filmes, Globo Filmes
Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of August 24-30:

August 24
Blood Cells
The Haunting of Alice Rogue
Wormchild 3: Darkest Destiny

August 25
Extinction: Patient Zero
The Fappening
Grainne Uaile – The Movie
Revenge Is Her Middle Name

August 26
No Escape
Queen of Earth
Tell Tale Lies

August 27
The Looking Glass
The Sunset Six
I Before Thee

August 28
We Are Your Friends
Z For Zachariah
War Room
Turbo Kid
7 Chinese Brothers
Memories of the Sword
Body High
Janoskians: Untold and Untrue
Marshall The Miracle Dog
Last Supper
Windsor Drive
My Voice My Life
Sins of My Sistahs

August 29
Career Day
Girlfriends Getaway 2
The Brown Paper Bag Test
Forced Change

August 30
Aria Appleton
The Magic History of Cinema
Black Top Fever

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.