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The Maid (2009)

Catalina Saavedra , Claudia Celedon , Sebastian Silva  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Catalina Saavedra, Claudia Celedon
  • Directors: Sebastian Silva
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Oscilloscope
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003DW64YI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,222 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Maid" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Sebastián Silva's closely observed character study centers on Raquel (Catalina Saavedra, tight-lipped and wild-eyed), who has served the same Santiago-based family for 23 years. When she turns 41, they throw her a party, but Raquel would prefer to work. Estranged from her relatives and plagued by crippling headaches, she relishes the feeling of control, though her teddy bear collection betrays a stunted adolescence. Further, she can no longer stand assertive 19-year-old Camila (Andrea García-Huidobro), who resents her surly attitude. Raquel favors the flirtatious Lucas (Agustín Silva, the director's younger brother), an amateur magician. She reports to their mother, Pilar (Claudia Celedón), whose husband, Mundo (Alejandro Goic), builds model ships in his spare time. To reduce her burden, Pilar hires a pair of supplemental workers, but the increasingly insecure maid drives them away. Though the Valdes clan values her efforts, Silva suggests that she's either burnt out, sexually frustrated, suffering from exposure to toxic chemicals, or struggling with an undiagnosed condition--possibly a combination of problems. As she starts to push even Lucas and Pilar away, the filmmaker dares viewers to identify with this fiercely territorial creature until Mariana Loyola's warm-hearted Lucy steps in, forcing the maid to move on or to relinquish some of her control. Throughout, Saavedra gives an admirably vanity-free performance, unafraid to show Raquel at her most unlikable, unattractive, and unintentionally amusing--which just makes her rare smiles all the more precious. Extra features include a photo gallery, a featurette, and page-to-screen storyboards. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

After 23 years working as a devoted maid in an upper class Chilean household, embittered and ailing Raquel (Sundance Film Festival and Gotham Award winner Catalina Saavedra) can no longer care for the family alone. Trapped by guilt, matriarch Pilar (Claudia Celed¢n) refuses to let Raquel go, even though it is clear their longtime maid is slowly unraveling. Instead, Pilar hires more help, throwing Raquel into a jealous frenzy. The seemingly happy home soon becomes the stage for Raquel's dirty tricks as she attempts to drive away anyone who threatens to take her place with darkly comedic, and in the end, endearing results.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Movie, Best of 2009 January 19, 2010
Format:DVD
This film has some of the most finely crafted comic scenes I have ever watched, and I would compare them to the old masters from Fatty Arbuckle on. They will have you on the edge of your seat. Saavedra is just magnificent in the role of Raquel, a stressed out maid/nanny to an upper middle class family with 4 or 5 kids. She just turned 41, she has chronic headaches, is lonely, depressed, and approaching a nervous/physical breakdown but will not accept help under any circumstances. We watch her face in nail biting suspense as the wheels spin in her head and she disposes of one hire after another in hilarious, vindictive style. Finally she meets a friend who appreciates her and her life and temperament softens. The film is very nuanced, human and realistic, (while being hilarious), with no lapses into sentimentality or preaching or explaining every quirk of the character: it is devoid of the gimmicks and formulas so pervasive in films of this type from both Europe and the U.S. It leaves the audience to appreciate the comedy of difficult situations in life, without needing to explain or resolve every bug in the software or sentimentalize the outcomes. This has to be the best film I saw from 2009, followed by 'Seraphine'. Whereas 'Avatar' had me snoozing, this held me upright in my seat. I hope the young director prospers!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GEM FROM CHILE June 4, 2010
Format:DVD
One of the best films to come out of South America, reminded me of my maid "Jacinta" growing up, I thought it was going to be up for an Oscar this past year, it should have been. If you are from the US and are curious to how it is growing up in South America as a middle to upper class person, this is how it feels, excellent performances from everyone in this movie. So well put together.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Watching "The Maid" (La nana), I didn't feel like I had seen this film countless times before, and that's a rarity. Sebastian Silva directed and co-wrote this unusual dramedy about a middle-aged maid in Santiago, Chile who has been with her household for over 20 years and has come to be plagued by headaches, neuroses and ill-will, the result of stresses of her own making. Raquel (Catalina Saavedra) has just turned 41, and her employers, an affluent family of seven, throw her a party. The lady of the household, Pilar (Claudia Celedon), sees that Raquel is physically spent and behaving oddly, so she hires another maid to take the load off of Raquel. But Raquel doesn't take kindly to this intrusion and viciously harasses every maid the family hires to help her.

Raquel seems to have gone 'round the bend. She's cruel to the family's girls and dotes on the boys. She drives the new maids away, leaving Pilar at her wit's end, unable to find a solution and unwilling to fire Raquel after more than 20 years of loyal service. Catalina Saavedra is nothing short of terrific in conveying the childish vindictiveness, with very few words, of this unhappy and unlikable woman. Raquel seems to have no clear idea, herself, of why she feels threatened. She is treated kindly, lives in relative comfort, but is about to crack. Her petty schemes are both hilarious and completely alienating. Mariana Loyola has only a supporting role but deserves no less credit for her portrayal of Lucy, the warm, easy-going maid who tries a completely different tactic with Raquel. In Spanish with optional English subtitles.

The DVD (Oscilloscope 2010): "Behind the Scenes Clips" are 6 segments of short behind-the-scenes clips strung together. "From Sketch to Screen: Storyboarding The Maid" (3 min) shows some of the director's storyboards with clips of those scenes from the film. "Photos from Sebastian Silva" are 13 images of mixed subjects related to the film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy way to learn Spanish :))) December 27, 2010
By Jenny
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's not just a good movie, it's good learning. Easy phrases, real life, fun.
Watch this movie and learn, learn how to love yourself, how to be happy.I have to speak several languages and this is the easy way to start to speak. I have several latin movies, which help me to speak spanish,and "The MAid" is one which is helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This Sundance favorite from Chile had me chomping at the bit given the glowing reviews. Catalina Saavedra stars as Raquel, the longtime maid of a well to do family with 4 kids ranging in age from about 7 to 15. Raquel is in some state of depression we are led to believe is partially caused by constant headaches. She is seemingly overwhelmed and constantly squabbles with the oldest girl.

The mother, Pilar (Claudia Celedon), decides to hire an additional maid to assist. First a very young one, then a very old one. Raquel plays mean games with them like locking them out of the house. In one case she turns a kitten loose who the younger maid had charge of. Neither maid lasts long. A third arrives (Mariana Loyola) who is closer in age and fun spirited. At first Raquel tries the same old tricks but eventually becomes close enough to visit Lucy's (Loyola) family.

Lucy's uncle hits on Raquel and agrees to have sex but at the last moment makes a surprising confession. After Lucy decides she misses her family too much to continue her employment, Raquel goes back into her funk. Aside from a strong performance by Saavedra, I don't understand what the big deal is. The film is shot digitally using mostly hand held cameras and for a while I thought we were going to get a horror film. What we get is watching a neurotic woman struggle with her personal problems. We don't get a direct explanation but there are enough clues that lead in one direction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Funny About Fear
Raquel, the protagonist of the Chilean film The Maid, is an early middle-aged live-in domestic who has been with the same upper middle class family for more than half her life. Read more
Published 14 months ago by not a natural
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting performance in an intriguing film
****1/2

(Some spoilers)

It's just so hard to find good help these days. Just ask the Valdes family, whose live-in maid of twenty-three years is quickly... Read more
Published on July 26, 2012 by Roland E. Zwick
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS FILM!!!!!
The other reviews of this film have covered it well, so I don't need to add more, just wanted to add to the praise. I love this film so much. Looking forward to seeing it again. Read more
Published on January 15, 2012 by Michael Morillo
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense But Good
I was a little uncomfortable watching this for probably the first half of the movie. I didn't know what lengths Raquel would go to to scare the new maids away. Read more
Published on August 21, 2011 by I Wasn't Here
5.0 out of 5 stars Stuck in a rut?
The Maid, director Sebastian Silva's effort, is delightful on all levels. A cast that buys in to all the insanity, a fine script, and a brilliant central performance from Catalina... Read more
Published on March 22, 2011 by R. Gawlitta
4.0 out of 5 stars Must see movie
The Maid or La Nana is a sad but ultimately satisfying character study of a maid who has been living and caring for others for years, pining for their affection and thinking of... Read more
Published on December 5, 2010 by Amit Talpade
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully observed character study
In Sebastian Silva's film `The Maid',the subtitle says it all: `She's almost one of the family,' hence when the door is closed on her in the kitchen while the family is eating, we... Read more
Published on November 16, 2010 by technoguy
2.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't watch it all
I read wonderful reviews of the movie, looked forward to seeing it for a long time...and ultimately couldn't watch it. The premise is great, the casting is great. Read more
Published on September 10, 2010 by M. Forsyth
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up to Chile and this film
This is a master piece of Latin American filmmaking. The story present and exquisite exploration of the psyche of a character whose life long career is threaten by the arrival of... Read more
Published on September 4, 2010 by F. Urena
5.0 out of 5 stars crazy maid!
I went in watching The Maid with no prior knowledge of what it would be about. So, for the first half of the movie, I just thought it was going to be about this crazy maid, and I... Read more
Published on July 12, 2010 by R Zern
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