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

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

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.