A few months ago I watched the Brazilian film “Adrift” by Heitor Dhalia. IMDb and Wikipedia will have you believe that it stars Camilla Belle and Vincent Cassel. The truth is, it does kind of star Vincent Cassel, it doesn’t really star Camilla Belle. She is in it, and she does a fantastic job, but she only has maybe 5 lines (I could be exaggerating), and yes– they are in Portuguese. I was happy; had they been in English the film may have lost a bit of integrity in my eyes.
I had to revisit the film again and screen-grab some of the breathtaking exteriors. The photos I found online didn’t do it justice.
The real star is Laura Neiva, and she is incredible. Her acting is subtle, but moving. It looks like this is her first and only film, but I hope she continues to do more.
What caught my eye–of course– was the beautiful landscape and the interiors. The film takes place in Búzios, a town in the state of Rio de Janeiro and apparently loved and adored by Brigitte Bardot. I can see why.
We follow Filipa, a 14-year-old girl on vacation with her father, mother, and two younger brothers. When Filipa discovers that her dad might be cheating on her mom with a young American tourist (enter Camilla Belle), she begins snooping in her dad’s office, keeping one eye on him as she frolics in the beautifully clear water, and following him to his young lover’s beach house nestled above a cliff.
The ending was a pleasant surprise. It was a twist that was extremely realistic. I anticipated a certain ending, I thought the film was building up to something in particular, and I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t entirely correct. This is my terrible attempt at not giving away the ending but making it sound really mysterious and enticing you to watch it to find out. I’m doing a bad job, aren’t I? Yes.
I wanted to go to Brazil before. This movie made me want to go even more while also adding more pine needles and string to the huge love nest I am building for myself and Latin American cinema.
Not pictured: dance parties at dusk on patios decorated with candles and dimly glowing string lights.
I girl-ed out over Camilla Belle’s wardrobe, particularly her beach outfits.
I will leave you with the trailer. This film is highly recommended (that sounds so passive). Not only is the landscape beautiful and awe-inspiring, but the story itself is beautiful. Watch, watch, watch!