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

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.