The Other Side of the Street

"Very Good"

The Other Side of the Street Review


If the idea of a septuagenarian variation on the old Rear Window scenario sounds appealing (no Grace Kelly, more's the pity), then the Brazilian film The Other Side of the Street should do the trick. If not, this is still a film worthy of consideration, as it's more than the sum of its fairly negligible plot device.

Regina (Fernanda Montenegro) is a 65-year-old retiree living by herself in Rio de Janeiro, whose high-rise apartment faces the long wall of windows of another, slightly nicer, high-rise apartment building across the street. Hers seems a life of quiet desperation, long walks in the busy streets with her dog, sleepless nights, the occasional outing with her grandson, but mostly one big long sigh of boredom. The first inkling that something is askew is the night she gets dolled up and heads out to a nightclub where she's older than any of the other clientele by at least three decades. Blending in behind the thudding music and grinding couples, she sees a woman being manhandled by some thug, after which Regina buys the woman a drink and starts chatting her up. The next day, the thug is hauled off by the police, and headlines blare about the breaking up of a prostitution ring. Regina's a police informant, codename "Snow White," and it's pretty much the only thing keeping her going.

As a pseudo-professional busybody, Regina has taken to watching the apartments outside her window with a pair of binoculars. One night she sees an older man give an injection to his wife. Thinking that the woman has been murdered, Regina calls the police, only to have it turn out that the man had just been administering medicine to his desperately ill wife, who did die but supposedly not from the shot. Frozen out by the police (the man turned out to be a very well-connected judge), Regina starts following the man, Camargo (Raul Cortez), on her own. Eventually Camargo notices Regina and begins to romance her. It's not giving anything away to say that eventually Regina starts to fall for this courtly gentleman of means and finds herself conflicted, as she can't decide whether he's a murderer or not.

Fortunately, writer/director Marcos Bernstein (co-writer of Central Station, which starred Montenegro) mostly forgoes the pseudo-thriller part of this dynamic, in favor of concentrating on Regina's slow thaw from isolated spy to somebody actually engaged in the world. Having Montenegro in the starring role makes this all much more involving than it has any right to be, with her mix of chilly, intense cynicism and utter self-sufficiency. The Other Side of the Street is a quiet sort of film, full of individuals utterly alone yet surrounded by crowds, shot through with a melancholy that feels intensely French, sans bourgeois ennui. But it's a quietude that becomes hypnotic after a time and leaves you caring ultimately not a whit about Camargo and did he/didn't he kill his wife, as it becomes literally about whether Regina will find a reason to bother continuing to live.

A richly rewarding film about a nosy old lady... imagine that.

Aka O Outro Lado da Rua.



The Other Side of the Street

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 31st May 2006

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Neanderthal MB Cinema, Passaro Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Kátia Machado,

Starring: as Regina, as Camargo, as Patolina, Luiz Carlos Persy as Alcides, Milene Pizarro as Celia, Márcio Vito as Walmir

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.