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Posts Tagged ‘“The Second Mother”’

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Camilla Mardilla, Regina Case: Mother and daughter

“THE SECOND MOTHER” My rating: B (Opens Oct. 30 at the Tivoli)

112 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Having a live-in servant means that you’ve arrived, economically speaking.

Wether you ever become comfortable with the idea is something else entirely.

In Anna Muylaert’s “The Second Mother” the delicate domestic equilibrium of an affluent Brazilian household goes spinning out of control with the arrival of an unexpected guest.

But even before the interloper’s appearance, there are hints that not everything’s as rosy at it seems.

The middle-aged Val (Regina Case) has devoted 13 years to being a housekeeper and the nanny to Fabinho (Michael Joelsas), who has grown into a handsome adolescent. In truth, she’s been more a mother to Fabinho than his real mother, Barbara (Karine Teles), who keeps busy with some sort of high-profile career in the fashion world.

Fabinho’s father, Carlos (Lourenco Mutarelli), is a bearded, balding slacker who inherited great wealth and is content to spend his life dabbling in this and that on the sidelines. He’s a dope.

Muylaert’s screenplay initially depicts a friendly environment. The family treasurers Val.

The adolescent Fabinho even goes to her with problems that by all rights should be aired before his parents, and Val in return views him as her own boy. She spoils him rotten.

Which apparently is fine with Barbara. She’s just pleased that her housekeeper is so efficient. Granted, the dumbass Carlos can’t even get himself a glass of water without Val’s assistance, but she does so happily. She’s a nurturer, and this is her job.

Then trouble arrives in paradise. Val’s teenage daughter Jessica (Camilla Mardilla), who was raised by Val’s ex husband in another city, is coming to town to enroll at university. Val asks her employers if it’s OK for Jessica to stay with her in her room until she can find an apartment near campus. ┬áThe family says yes, of course.

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