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Reaching for the Moon

10/10
Drama . Romance . Biography
 

In 1951 New York poet Elizabeth Bishop travels to Rio de Janeiro to visit Mary, a college friend. The shy Elizabeth is overwhelmed by Brazilian sensuality. She is the antithesis to Mary’s dashing partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Although frosty at first, the architect soon makes a play for Elizabeth and the poet finally succumbs to Lota’s advances. Mary is jealous, but unconventional Lota is determined to have both women at all costs. Their ménage à trois is thrown off balance when Lota starts work on her biggest project to date, designing Parque do Flamengo in Rio. Elizabeth accepts an academic teaching post in the USA and the women drift apart. Lota, at all other times brimming with self-confidence, is inconsolable. This eternal triangle plays out against the backdrop of the military coup of 1964. Bishop’s moving poems are at the core of a film which lushly illustrates a crucial phase in the life of this influential Pulitzer prize-winning poet

 
Actors: Luciana Souza , Lola Kirke , Marcello Airoldi , Treat Williams , Tracy Middendorf , Glória Pires , Miranda Otto , Tânia Costa , Marianna Mac Nieven
Directors: Bruno Barreto
Country: BRAZIL
Add a Review

Deborah Young
The Hollywood Reporter

It would be hard to find two more contrasting actresses than Otto and Pires, but Barreto plays off their differences in culture and personality.


Trevor Johnston
Time Out London

The film never works out how to generate genuine dramatic fire from its material. There are convincing performances and decorative retro detail to admire, but the heart needs to beat just that bit faster – and it doesn’t manage that.


Guy Lodge
Variety

Attention is retained by the commendably unhistrionic leads, who convincingly etch the pair’s enduring devotion even when passions run dry.


Walter Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

Despite its worthy subject, this feature by veteran Brazilian director Bruno Barreto has a bluntness that's at odds with Bishop's personality and work.


Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times

Everything ultimately gives way to the stately, simplistic, inevitable pace of by-the-numbers biopics, from some woefully tinny, hit-and-run screenwriting to the usual difficulties surrounding the dramatization of an author's craft.


Nicolas Rapold
The New York Times

Ms. Otto conveys a double-edged intelligence as the film’s pinched notion of “Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil,” while Ms. Pires strides about, every snap judgment and grand gesture a measure of her appeal. Both are hemmed in by direction and a screenplay that are relentlessly on point (as well as an off-the-shelf score).


Diego Costa
Slant Magazine

Bruno Barreto's insistence that this pass for a product that Hollywood might have spawned smoothens a journey built on sharp edges.


Calum Marsh
Village Voice

Poetry refracts life; this film can only reflect it, and tritely at that.


Add Soundtrack

1. Reaching for the Moon ( Performer: Ella Fitzgerald )


2. The Art of Losing ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


3. Corujas ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


4. Shooting Stars ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


5. Lota and Bishop ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


6. Crossing the Equator ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


7. Reading to Lota ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


8. Lota in N.Y. ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


9. Elizabeth's Speech ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


10. Lost Letters ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


11. New Desk ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


12. Mary Returns ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


13. Lonely Birthday ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


14. North and South ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


15. The Baby ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


16. Bishop's Apartment ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


17. House Tour ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


18. Building the Park ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


19. Pulitzer Telegram ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


20. Bishop's Studio ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


21. Bishop Leaves ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


22. Lota Visits Lacerda ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


23. Back from the Hospital ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


24. Ouro Preto ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


25. Military Coup ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


26. Betrayal ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


27. The Painting ( Performer: Marcelo Zarvos Itunes )


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