Clara (Sonia Braga, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”), a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic, is the last resident of the Aquarius, one of the few buildings of its age and character that remains in a rapidly changing seaside Recife neighborhood.
Now that the other apartments have been swept up by a company with ambitious plans for redevelopment, pressures to move on surround Clara from all sides. But she has pledged to leave only upon death, and will engage in a cold war with the developers to keep a home that has been a silent witness to her entire life.
The resulting confrontation is mysterious, frightening and nerve-wracking, tingeing even Clara’s most familiar routines with the tension of a thriller. But it is her passion for those close to her, for music, for her memories of past loves, and hunger for future ones, that makes the film a tremendous kaleidoscope of life’s pleasures and our reasons for defending them, from Brazil’s great chronicler of its present moment, Kleber Mendonça Filho.
"An engrossing, intimate character study that manages to encompass plenty of universal truths, Aquarius is a look at the end of things that is vibrant and bursting with life."
"It’s a reminder that the history of cinema is also a history of male directors working with superb actresses, a truism borne out in AQUARIUS, from the Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho. Sonia Braga (KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN) stars as a widow and retired music critic whose fight with some developers (they want to evict her) evolves into a stirring look at the intersection of class, history and memory."
"At the center of this emotional maelstrom is the 65-year-old Braga, herself a living legend and bridge to the past. In a long film of many turns, her performance - weathered, proud, sensuous, fragile - captivates and brings us into her world."