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Malu

1h 41m Drama 2024

A middle-aged actress begins to unravel in this dynamite Brazilian debut, featuring an explosive, emotionally wrenching lead performance from Yara de Novaes.

Washed up and clinging to memories of her former glory, 50-year-old actress Malu (de Novaes) finds herself sharing a run-down home in the slums of Rio de Janeiro with her conservative mother while trying to reconnect with her estranged daughter (Carol Duarte, La Chimera, MIFF 2023). Malu dreams of converting her home into an arts centre for underprivileged kids, but her erratic emotional state, unstable behaviour and hostile relationship with her religious mother keep her existence in a state of turmoil and inertia.

Drawing inspiration from his own mother, the legendary Brazilian actress Malu Rocha, first-time feature director Pedro Freire delivers a tender, sometimes terrifying portrait of love in all its messy contradiction – a dramatic knockout that echoes the work of John Cassavetes. As the hurricane at the centre of it all, de Novaes unleashes one of the year’s greatest performances: both volatile and poignant, monstrous and moving, she’s a singular force you won’t soon forget.

“Emotionally resonant … Lived in to the point that it becomes difficult to perceive it as a calculated representation and not raw truth, what the superb de Novaes does with this acting feat is at once electric and monstrous.” – Variety

Producer

Tatiana Leite

Producer

Sabrina Garcia

Producer

Leo Ribeiro

Producer

Roberto Berliner

Screenwriter

Pedro Freire

Cinematographer

Mauro Pinheiro Jr.

Composer

Jonas Sá

Language

Portuguese

Country

Brazil

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