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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reeling Review #9: See Reaching for the Moon at Chicago's LGBT Film Festival



I was not familiar with the Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, Elizabeth Bishop, before seeing director Bruno Barreto's marvelous and moving drama, Reaching for the Moon, which tells the true story of her passionate relationship with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares. The film begins in 1951 when Bishop takes a trip to Brazil and visits an old college friend, Mary, who is Soares' lover. The poet and the architect soon fall in love, and Bishop ends up staying in Brazil for the next 15 years as she, Soares and Mary form an unconventional living arrangement.

Australian actress Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) and Brazilian actress Glória Pires give brilliant performances as Bishop and Soares, making us care deeply for both women. I was also impressed by Tracy Middendorf, who perfectly captures the complex character of Mary, and it's always nice to see Treat Williams, who is briefly featured as Bishop's close friend, poet Robert Lowell.

Reaching for the Moon is not only a captivating biopic - with an award-worthy screenplay by Matthew Chapman and Julie Sayres - it's also a truly gorgeous film to watch. Mauro Pinheiro Jr.'s beautiful cinematography will make you want to visit Brazil yourself. But for now, you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery while watching one of the best movies of the year. It was a pleasure getting to know you, Miss Bishop.

Show time: 6:45 pm, Thursday, November 14, at the Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee)
Running time: 118 minutes
Website: www.reachingforthemoonmovie.com

For a complete schedule of films at Reeling31: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival (which runs November 7 - 14), go to reelingfilmfestival.org. You can purchase tickets online (click here) or in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark) Monday - Friday 10:30 am - 6 pm. You can also get the latest festival news by following Reeling on Twitter and Facebook. And click here to read all my reviews.

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