Reaching for the Moon / Lesbian Looks

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Acclaimed director Bruno Barreto (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) vividly brings to life 1950s Rio in this beautifully drawn tale of American poet Elizabeth Bishop and her passionate, real-life love affair with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Based on the bestselling novel Rare and Commonplace Flowers, the film follows Bishop as a creative block prompts her to accept the invitation of a college friend to stay with her and her partner, Lota, on a sprawling country estate in Brazil. Quintessentially American Bishop is a fish out of water in her new lush and bohemian setting, until her instant chemistry with Lota reaches the boiling point, setting off a passionate love affair that dramatically alters Bishop’s relationship to the world around her. Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings) gives an elegant and nuanced performance as Bishop, while Glória Pires (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes) provides a counterbalance with the Dionysian and earthy Lota. Bishop’s closet alcoholism thickens the drama, but when she returns to New York and the military coup d’état forces change in Brazil, the relationship also faces tumultuous changes. This compelling, gorgeously photographed love story is an intimate snapshot of the search for inspiration and the lives of two remarkable artists. (Dir. by Bruno Barreto, 2013, Brazil, in English and Portuguese with subtitles, 118 mins., Not Rated, Wolfe Releasing) Digital