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A Casa de Alice|Alice's House

Artfully done soap opera
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 12, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
alices-house-01[1]inside
A Casa de Alice|Alice’s House

In Alice’s house, Grandma (Berta Zemel) sees everything. She sees the pictures in the wallet of Alice’s husband; she sees the money given to Alice’s oldest son by the stranger in the car. She sees everything and says and does nothing except maybe spread incense to bring peace. Well, sometimes she’ll miss something, like when her favorite grandchild steals from her pocketbook. But she sees enough to be a metaphor, and when Alice (Carla Ribas) takes her mother to the eye doctor, the future looks grim for Alice’s house, especially since Alice, who’s fed up with her spouse, has decided to go after the husband of one of the clients at the beauty salon where she works. The meanness and treachery are sordid and demoralizing in the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink realism of Brazilian director Chico Teixeira’s artfully done soap opera. But his restrained, elliptical style, focused on details rather than confrontations, and the nuanced performances (by Ribas especially) make this house a home. Portuguese | 92 minutes | Kendall Square
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