Freitag, 14. Februar 2014
Berlinale: Aloft / Hoje eu quero voltar sozinho (The Way He Looks)
Peruvian writer/director Claudia Llosa's follow-up to her Golden Bear-winning "La teta asustada (The Milk of Sorrow)", "Aloft", is a serenely told, well acted, and, depending on your acceptance level of high-minded tales of forgiveness with an element of supernatural healing powers, affecting familial drama about guilt and salvation. Like all films dealing with manifestly spiritual subject matters, it walks a very fine line between the inspirational and the ludicrous. In this case, I'm willing to give Llosa a pass for being just this side of ridiculous, mostly because she has assembled a cast of actors that brings genuine emotions and compelling presence to the table. Mélanie Laurent is as dependable as always playing the disarming outsider with an unforeseen side of fragility, Cillian Murphy reminds us how forceful and convincing he can be even without cosmetic deformation or creepy accents. Jennifer Connelly does what she does best here, all soulful stares, tear-streaked daze and otherworldly aura. Unfolding in a slightly cheesy parallel structure, the movie itself cannot be called clever for its writing or original in the narrative, but the performances elevate it above melodramatic sappiness so you leave afterwards with a taste in your mouth that's probably nothing new or exciting but also not terribly disagreeable either.
The signs of inexperience and the strains of a streamlined, sugarcoated ending show in the second half of "Hoje eu quero voltar sozinho (The Way He Looks)", a Brazilian teenage dramedy about a blind schoolboy discovering sexuality and falling in love. But the first half of this impossibly sweet movie is a pitch-perfect celebration of the joys, doubts, fears and heartbreaks of adolescence that tip us into adulthood. Writer/director Daniel Ribeiro achieves the miraculous feat of capturing on film the most deeply personal yet universally relatable feelings of longing, vulnerability, anticipation, and that leap of the heart caused by the lightest brush against someone special. And it's all absolute fireworks. His screenplay is a marvel of empathy and the way he directs, traceless and organic, makes you forget there's a camera rolling. That he chooses to tell this story with a protagonist who can't see is a great touch in that the blindness of attraction and the terror of crossing into the unknown could find both literal and metaphorical expression. The three lead actors have wonderful chemistry together, the familiarity with which they interact with one another is the priceless ingredient to a successful depiction of romance. Otherwise the cinematography is blissfully sun-drenched and the soundtrack delightfully put together. All in all, a breezily enjoyable ride with a youthful beat. .