Brazilian film critic-turned-director Kleber Mendonça Filho (back this month with the Cannes-winning 'Bacurau') follows his superb ensemble drama 'Neighbourhood Sounds' with a stunning portrait of a woman battling ageism and corporate greed.
Clara lives in the same apartment she occupied with her husband and where they raised their family. It's less a home than a repository for all her memories. Not that Clara lives in the past. She enjoys life in her home, on the nearby beach where she swims daily, and with her friends. Even her sex life is on the up. But a development company want to tear down the Aquarius apartments to make way for a new building. As the last remaining resident, Clara is pressured to leave. Even her children want her to go. But what begins as an unwillingness to leave a place filled with so many memories soon transforms into a battle of wits, with Clara proving a formidable and unmoveable force.
Sonia Braga ('Kiss of the Spiderwoman') is outstanding in the lead, bringing warmth, charm, steeliness and more than a modicum of sly humour to the role. A finely-tuned character study, 'Aquarius' is a joy from start to end.
BBFC Certified 18 - strong sex
★★★★★ - Charlotte O'Sullivan, Evening Standard
★★★★★ "A broad-canvas celebration of neighbourhood life" - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph