DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Alice’s House (A Casa de Alice)

Director - Chico Teixeira - 2007

"Greasy movie"
The mundane lifestyle of the Brazilian lower middle-class can both challenge and enrapture the viewer

The aesthetics of the mundane are the lingering focus and central theme of Alice’s House, the first feature film by Brazilian Chico Teixeira.

In a lower middle class neighbourhood of São Paulo, middle-aged Alice resides with in high-rise with her husband of 20 years (Lindomar, a taxi driver), their three sons and her doting mother. Their life looks dull and lacklustre, as does their dwelling. She works in a beauty salon and seems to find little joy at home; gossiping and exchanging beauty tips with one of her clients makes her life more eventful than engaging with her cold husband and angry, testosterone-fueled sons at home. Alice’s house (in reality; an apartment) hardly feels like Alice’s home, but instead as the uncomfortable and inevitable predicament in the routine of a working mother-of-three. The home portrayed by Teixeira is neither relaxing nor liberating; instead it feels oppressive and suffocating.

Sex is often the only escape from the family. Lindomar has an affair with a friend of one of their sons, while one of the sons has a fling with another girl. The eldest seems to have an liaison, likely as a prostitute, with an older man. Finally, Alice herself finds solace in a relationship with Nilson, the partner of one of her clients.

Tsehe sexual encounters has almost invariably a problematic outcome. Lindomar’s extra-marital affair comes to light after Alice (Carla Ribas) finds pictures of the lover in the husband’s wallet, prompting her to beat the young lover in a violent outburst of jealousy. The oldest son’s homosexual dalliance is made public to the family by one of his younger siblings, also triggering a frantic outburst of rage. In Brazil, concealed sexuality often culminates in physical violence. It is a dirty secret with serious consequences,

The adultery carried out by Alice has yet a different disclosure. She plans a secret break with her lover, but he simply does not show up. She seems doomed to a sad, uneventful life at home her husband and children. Her home/ house is her prison.

Alice’s family is not dysfunctional. Their disagreements and challenges are all-too-common and familiar to Brazilians: they are loud, emotional and express pathos in the most trivial situations. Teixeira created a beautifully crafted and realistic portrait of the average lower middle class Brazilian family, in its often unrelenting routine and mediocre conflicts.

Carla Ribas received wide acclaim and numerous international prizes for her riveting performance, but the film as a whole undeservingly earned less recognition. Audiences outside Brazil should rediscover the discreet charm of the lower middle classes of Brazil through this simple, effective and touching movie. DMovies selected Alice’s House as one of the dirtiest Brazilian movies of the past 10 years.



"Greasy movie"

By Petra von Kant - 25-02-2016

By Petra von Kant - 25-02-2016

Petra von Kant is a filmmaker, critic and performance artist. She was born Manoel Almeida t...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Holidaying in Cambodia with Isaac (Ross McCall), Ben [Read More...]

Read More

Take Me Somewhere Nice

Ena Sendijarević
2020

Paul Risker - 28-05-2020

Teen travels from the Netherlands to Bosnia in order to meet her ailing father, in this tender coming-of-age drama about the experience of immigration - on Mubi from Thursday, May 21st [Read More...]

Just kill all hippies!!!

 

Steve Naish - 28-05-2020

As Dennis Hopper's Out of the Blue turns 40, Steven Naish investigates what is it that makes the dirty movie indelible and delectable [Read More...]

Reinventing the reel, four decades later

 

Steve Naish - 28-05-2020

Stephen Lee Naish interviews John Alan Simon, the film director and producer behind the restoration of Dennis Hopper's Out of the Blue, which celebrates its 40th anniversary of the movie this year [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *