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"Aquarius" is a slow moving 2 hour and 22 minute movie that would have been a very interesting hour and 45 minute movie. Director, and screenplay writer, Kleber Mendonca Filho puts in too many unnecessary scenes that add nothing to the film or plot except to tell us more than we need to know about Clara, who is at the center of the film. There is a scene at a cemetery, another of Clara's grandbaby running around nude and still another of a couple having sex on a beach not to forget an explicit orgy scene.

The story is basically of Clara who is the last tenet who owns an apartment in a building that a developer wants to tear down and make a tower of condos. She is comfortable with her life and has no desire to sell, move, uproot the life she has. We learn about Clara's daily life whether going for a swim every morning at the beach across the street, her battle with cancer that has left her scarred, he daughter recently divorced, one son who is gay and another son who is the father of her favorite grandson, having a night out with girlfriends, a possible romantic encounter that doesn't work out, a 'escort' that does plus her work as a music journalist writing books along with relatives and friends from the past and present. At the same time there is the story of the developer and his grandson trying at first to buy her out and then taking other methods.

Along the way there are discussions about how skin color affects lives in Brazil, where the picture takes place, as society gets into business and education can make a man's grandson think he the smartest one of making decisions to move things along. There are the children who who think the mother is making a selfish decision in not selling the house and her housekeeper/friend who lost her son a year before. And folks we haven't even touched upon the lifeguard, the church group and things going on inside and out side the building and Clara's apartment.

What makes "Aquarius" special, a film to watch, is the performance by Sonia Braga who lets you know everything about the woman by the way she walks, talks, treats others, dresses, laughs, deals with problems, listens to music and shows love to family, friends and life. Braga defines the camera falling in love with a face.

Watching "Aquarius" I wished there was a fast forward button if for no other reason than to get past the cemetery scene and the three others mentioned in the first paragraph.





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