Amelia's Children (2023)

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Amelia's Children (2023). 1h 31m

“After the crazy u0026quot;Diamantino,u0026quot; Gabriel Abrantes opted for a conventional horror film. Kind of. As a horror fan, I can only thank him. And for a first work… itu0026#39;s not bad at all to start with one of the best works of the genre in the Portuguese language.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn the story, in New York, Edward (Carloto Cotta) lives peacefully with his girlfriend, Ryley (Bridgette Lindy-Paine). In search of his biological family, Edward ends up discovering he has a brother and a mother in Portugal, but soon realizes that uncovering his origins can be quite dangerous.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThereu0026#39;s some excellent work here in introducing the plot and creating mystery. The film begins with a strong opening scene in the past (with Alba Baptista as the young mother) and then transitions to the present, initially presenting us with the main couple in a comprehensive yet not overly expository manner. These are the two best-developed, most well-rounded characters, greatly aided by the excellent performances of Carloto Cotta (who plays two very distinct roles) and Bridgette Lindy-Paine. Lindy-Paine, in particular, carries the film more than expected, always being the character who pieces together the plot. Anabela Moreirau0026#39;s outstanding work should also be highlighted; even covered in makeup, she manages to shine in the role of the most enigmatic character, the mother of the brothers.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe way Abrantes handles the genre is quite interesting, adding some dashes of humour (although some of the audience seemed to think it was purely a comedy) and blending in elements of traditional Portuguese folklore, as well as incorporating social commentary related to family and romantic relationships with a good dose of madness.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe soundtrack is excellent, as is all the work on the sound effects heightening the tension of the movie. From a visual perspective, the outstanding production design stands out (the interior spaces look like works of art), and the cinematography, especially in the darker scenes, is noteworthy. At times, the film leans into some genre clichés-several characters following voices in the dark, dreams within dreams, and more dreams-but it manages to rise above them by always keeping us entertained and engaged, concluding with a very strong third act.”


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