The second mother (Que horas ela volta?)

The second mother‘s central character, Val (Regina Casé), is a Brazilian woman who has left her village and found work as a domestic in São Paulo for a well–to–do family. To Barbara (Karine Teles) and her husband Carlos (Lourenço Mutarelli), Val is now part of the family since she started working there thirteen years ago. To their teenage son, Fabinho (Michel Joelsas), Val is his second mother and even more. Some nights Fabinho goes in Val’s room and sleeps with her. She holds him as if he was a small infant. It is not sexual by any means. In order to make a living Val left her daughter, Jessica (Camila Márdila), with Jéssica’s grandfather, and mother and daughter have not seen each other for years. Now, Jessica wants come to São Paulo to study and Val asks Barbara if Jessica can come and stay in Val’s room. Val has a good relationship with her employers. Barbara is considerate and kind toward Val. Barbara accepts. When Jessica gets there she is unhappy with the size of Val’s room. Eventually, to Val’s horror, the familly let Jessica stay in the guest room. Val gets along well with Barbara, but there are boundaries Val would never cross. Jessica has no such concept. It gets worse when Carlos (not Fabinho) seems to be falling in love with Jessica. The second mother is not a melodrama, but a character study. All members of this small ensemble cast are perfect. Anna Muylaert rewrote the screeplay four times before filming started with veteran actress Regina Casé attached to the project. Val’s commitment to serve others is played with nonjudgmental abandon by Casé. The second mother is a small worthy  film.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

The second mother (Que horas ela volta?)

Directed by:
Anna Muylaert

Screenplay by:
Anna Muylaert

Starring:
Regina Casé
Camila Márdila
Michel Joelsas
Karine Teles
Lourenço Mutarelli

112 min.

In Portuguese with English subtitles

 

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