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Reaching for the Moon 2014 NR CC

4.5 out of 5 stars (83) IMDb 6.9/10

Set in 1950s Brazil, this sumptuous drama recounts Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto, "Lord of the Rings") and her love affair with famed architect Lota de Macedo Soares. From Oscar-nominated Brazilian director Bruno Barreto ("Four Days in September"), "Reaching for the Moon" is an intimate snapshot of the search for inspiration, wherever and however you find it.

Starring:
Glória Pires, Miranda Otto
Runtime:
1 hour, 55 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Bruno Barreto
Starring Glória Pires, Miranda Otto
Supporting actors Tracy Middendorf, Marcello Airoldi, Lola Kirke, Tânia Costa, Marianna Mac Niven, Marcio Ehrlich, Treat Williams, Anna Bella, Griffin Addison, Anna Bella Chapman, Neil Hellegers, Chris Hietikko, Tommy McInnis, Sophia Pavonetti
Studio Wolfe Video
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was sad to see this deeply moving, complex and intelligent story of the love between the award winning American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares. so overlooked by U.S. audiences and critics. There are two outstanding performances by Miranda Otto as the outwardly shy and repressed alcoholic Bishop, and Gloria Pires as her opposite, an extroverted, highly emotional woman who coaxes Bishop out of her shell.

Very nicely photographed, this reminded me of the best of the Merchant-Ivory films. It's not flashy. Indeed there's a quiet to it
that is needed to off-set the melodramatic (even if based in truths) elements of these women's lives. But that doesn't keep it from packing a hell of an emotional punch, and in being bold enough to create characters we care for, but who are also deeply troubled and capable of making bad choices – just like in the real world of relationships we rarely see on screen.

It was also nice to see a gay love story that both acknowledged how difficult being homosexual was in the 1950s, while not becoming a film about that only. This is a film about a complex relationship between two highly creative and wounded souls who
both save and damage each other. The fact that both are women is only a small part of the larger story. It's also one of the only films I've seen capture at least a taste of the struggle and loneliness of the act of writing.

One of those quiet little gems that deserves to be discovered by more people.
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After you have watched as many gay films as I have you get use to the same old thing. Bad plots with good acting, good plots with bad acting, bad plots with bad acting. Pick one and you will have it in most lesbian films. This one really was a great surprise. I took the previous reviews with a grain of salt but I have to agree with the majority.

Excellent movie based on real people. Enjoyed the Brazil scenery and going through the journey with the two women. A good love story that happens to involve two women. Excellent acting. Love scenes were not over done.

Rent it or buy it. Either way you will not go wrong.
1 Comment 16 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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It is cause for celebration that finally someone is acknowledging the very existence of the most important woman poet of the Twentieth Century.
The film was interesting, poetic and even if it was "based on a true story," thought provoking.
I recommend the film and of course Bishop's work. I believe knowing her work and familiarity of several biographies enhances the film's characters, plot and appeal.
Don't miss it.
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I was really surprised at the level of acting and overall quality of this film. Let me explain- lesbian films or lesbian themed films that aren't directed by directors with lots of cred (see The Kids Are Alright), usually leave a LOT to be desired. Poor acting, poor dialogue, silly plots, cheap production, and unfortunate endings are only some of the problems facing lesbian cinema. I had no idea that this was based on a true story, and that made it more depressing- but that's okay because it was beautifully shot, acted, casted, produced, written, etc., that I wasn't mad. This was not a cheesy lesbian film. This is quality cinema that just happened to be about a lesbian relationship(s). Thank you, Reaching for the Moon!! Very nice. I wish there were more films like this and less like It's in the Water, Some Prefer Cake, Chutney Popcorn, Go Fish, A Perfect Ending, etc. If The Kids Are Alright hadn't showcased such big names as Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Josh Hutcherson and Mia Waskjkjilhlssalla, and I could get over the hotness that was Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in a lesbian relationship, then I would say that Reaching for the Moon actually did it better. (The fatal flaw in The Kids Are Alright was that someone thought it would be better or more realistic if one of the women had an affair with a man. Come ON!!!) Rent this film, buy it, whatever. Just watch it, because it was a major achievement in lesbian cinema. Just like Blue Is the Warmest Color- another stellar lesbian cinematic achievement.
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By Meena on March 17, 2014
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I had never heard of either one of these woman before watching this movie. I've watched it a few times, however I stop before the end, which makes me sad. It is a well acted and well made film.
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An adept look at the creative mind and how destructive that mind and behaviors can be to those around them...a must see
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Format: DVD
Never heard of the poet Elizabeth Bishop or her relationship with her Brazilian partner in the 50's and 60's, so it's always a treat to be educated as well as entertained. You will find this story infuriating and exciting at the same time - what a different time the world was then - in some ways more understanding, in many ways not. Loved it! Great performances.
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I had hoped for more from this movie, considering its pedigree: director Bruno Barreto (View from the Top, Four Days in September, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands); the excellent cast, including Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings); and the compelling true story that it's based on. I read the book "Rare and Commonplace Flowers" in 2005, and my late Brazilian husband, architect Sylvio de Vasconcellos, knew all the main characters personally, so maybe I was expecting more content than could possibly be squeezed into a 2-hour film.
For those who aren't familiar with the story, American poet Elizabeth Bishop arrives in Rio de Janeiro on a freighter in 1951. She has a ticket to travel around the world and is taking advantage of the stopover in Rio to see her friend from Vassar, Mary Morse. Bishop is 40 years old and already well known for her poetry, having recently completed a stint at the Library of Congress in the position that was later to be called "Poet Laureate."
A self-declared lesbian with a string of lovers in her past, she soon discovers that Mary is living with Lota de Soares Macedo at a beautiful inland retreat not far from Rio. The scenery is breathtaking - and how could it not be? The views of the Brazilian landscape are worth the price of admission.
Hours after her arrival, Bishop bites into a caju fruit (the fruit that bears the cashew nut at its tip) and has a violent allergic reaction that nearly takes her life. She misses her boat and ends up remaining in Brazil for 15 years in a ménage à trois with Lota and Mary. It's worth noting that Bishop gets by on a fairly decent inheritance from her family and Lota is in similar circumstances, only much wealthier. This is a story about rich people who have a lot of time on their hands.
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