Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Carol Duarte’

A Vida Invisivel *****

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 18th December, 2019

D6468D38-3CE8-425A-978F-14A6137D0103Just a few years after the Second World War two sisters in Rio de Janeiro rebel against the strict domestic regime of their humourless Portuguese baker father and his cowed wife. One, a talented pianist, dreams of going to study at the conservatoire in Vienna while the other takes the plunge and runs off to Europe with a handsome Greek sailor, which will see her banished from the family home when she returns, pregnant but with her marriage in ruins. The other sister meanwhile has married a man who despairs that she seems to care more for music than for him. Austria remains an unrealised dream. In reality, the greatest love the two young women have is for each other, but they will be kept apart by a wicked lie, each believing the other is on the other side of the Atlantic. The grief of separation is almost unbearable for the sensitive pianist. Karim Ainouz’s family drama could all too easily been schmalzy whereas in fact his delicate direction and the brilliant acting of Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler as the two sisters make this an unforgettable, lyrical portrayal of sibling love and loss. The physical settings of Rio in the 1950s and 1960s, often in rain or under low cloud, greatly add to the atmosphere. There are moments of humour as well as some unflinching sex, but the dominant key is minor, not major. The expression of growing helplessness on the face of the pianist as the years go by leaves an indelible impression.

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