Guess who's back in town
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 08/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Brazilian village of Agreste is such a backwater that electricity is cut-off at 9:00 PM. So, it's a Communal Big Deal when a bright red sports car roars into town. From behind the wheel uncurls gorgeous and flamboyant Tieta (Sonia Braga). She's accompanied by Leonora (Claudia Abreu), introduced as her stepdaughter.Twenty-six years previous, the teenaged TIETA OF AGRESTE was thrown out by Dad after Tieta's sister accused her of sexual promiscuity. Tieta fled to Sao Paolo, where she's lived and prospered ever since, most recently as the ostensible wife of a wealthy industrialist. Despite the rancor surrounding her departure decades earlier, Tieta has been periodically sending money to her Agreste family. She now lets slip that she misses "her girls" back in Sao Paolo, and leads her family to believe that she owns a luxury shop of some sort. Fate has treated Tieta well, and she's not above gently rubbing the noses of her now-aged father Ze (Chico Anysio) and her avaricious and widowed sister Perpetua (Marilia Pera) in her success. Tieta soon proves she has influence in high places when she arranges with casual ease to have streetlights and 7/24 electricity installed in Agreste. At this point, the viewer might be forgiven any questions about the perhaps dubious nature of Tieta's girls and her "luxury shop".I wanted to like this film more than I ultimately did. Certainly, the very best reason to see it is Sonia Braga, who proves that a 46-year old woman can still be a Hottie. Oh my, is she ever. Indeed, her Tieta character wastes no time in showing Perpetua's eldest son Cardo (Heitor Mello), a young seminarian, that perhaps he's really not cut out for celibate priesthood. A variation of the famous Mae West line comes to mind: "Is that a candlestick in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"From the very moment Tieta blows into town, by which time the viewer knows the story of her previous banishment, there's obviously the potential for a good revenge story. And revenge is a dish best eaten cold. I would've hoped that Tieta keep her cool, but a shrill screaming match between her and the embittered Perpetua late in the film put that possibility to rest and brought to mind "overacting" with a capital "O". Perhaps it's the fiery Latin temperament. Moreover, there were two subplots, one involving a budding affair between Leonora and a minor village functionary, and the other revolving around the prospective purchase of a local pristine beach by a polluting industrial giant. Both were virtually non-sequiturs, and also prolonged the run time unnecessarily to almost two hours.Unless you're a Sonia Braga fan or an aficianado of Brazilian cinema, TIETA OF AGRESTE is a take-it or leave-it affair. But whether Tieta is a blonde, brunette, or redhead, she's a sexy eyeful."
Braga at her best!
Joseph Haschka | 05/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Sonia Braga at her best....sultry, compassionate and funny.....it surpasses even "Dona Flor"....Jorge Amado was born to write for her!The music of Caetano Veloso, and the beautiful voice of Gal Costa, just add to this treasure."
I am impressed
George | NYC | 11/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a new fan of Brazilian cinema. Carlos Diegues is a true Brazilian director. He does a good job at producing a movie which captures the sensuality of Brazil without going overboard with explicit scenes. It's a beautiful movie with the help of Sonia Braga who is not only a great actress, but a beautiful woman. After seen Diegues' other film, Bye Bye Brazil, you can tell he knows about capturing the Brazilian mentality."