The Maid [La Nana]

"Excellent"

The Maid [La Nana] Review


This striking black comedy from Chile delves into the life of a 41-year-old maid for a wealthy Chilean family, cleverly revealing both her own inner life and some home-truths from this modern-day caste system.

Raquel (Saavedra) has worked with Pilar and Mundo (Celedon and Goic) for more than 20 years, raising their four children. She's part of the family, and is fiercely protective of her work. So when Pilar hires a nice younger woman (Villanueva) to help, Raquel subtly but outrageously hounds her out of the job.

And when they hire a much feistier older woman (Reeves) to snap Raquel into shape, she tries the same thing again. But the next one (Loyola) is a completely different story.

The film is shot with a handheld, doc-style realism that captures tiny glimpses of the characters' real feelings, as opposed to what they express to each other. The camera follows Raquel without blinking, making constant observations that are bitingly funny and sharply telling, while almost never leaving the family home. Raquel's relationship with each family member is distinct. Issues constantly crop up, especially between Raquel and the eldest daughter (Garcia-Huidobro), and this becomes even more tense with invasions of privacy from both sides.

Saavedra delivers a relentless performance that blends loyalty with paranoia.

Raquel's increasingly surly demeanour is both hilarious and a little terrifying, because we can see that it could be her undoing. She rejects all suggestions that she might need assistance, and her territorial attitude is pretty vicious. And yet Saavedra's performance miraculously holds our sympathy even as she behaves very badly indeed. We actually understand why she feels the way she does. And we like her a lot.

This is a fiendishly clever film that constantly catches us by surprise with witty touches that reveal the characters deepest thoughts and feelings. The connections between these people are complex and often unexpected, as the sharper, darker edges are softened with affection. By the end, we feel like we have travelled a remarkable journey with Raquel and this family, and it's not only a thoroughly enjoyable trip, but along the way we've learned a few things about ourselves.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Sebastian Silva

Producer: Gregorio Gonzalez

Starring: Catalina Saavedra as Raquel, Claudia Celedón as Pilar, Andrea García-Huidobro as Camila, Mariana Loyola as Lucy, as Mundo

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.