IMDb Rating 7.1 10 33

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
September 23, 2022 at 11:59 AM

Top cast

799.95 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by steiner-sam 8 / 10

Blossoming in middle age after three decades of repressed living

It's a comedy-drama set in the 1980s in the Republic of Malta. It follows the life of a late-40s woman after the sudden death of her older brother. She had served as a housekeeper for her Catholic priest brother for 30 years. It's loosely based on the life experience of the director's aunt.

Carmen (Natascha McElhone)'s family forced her to look after her brother, Father Francis (Henry Zammit Cordina), from age 16. He is austere and disliked by his small-town parish. After his death, another priest plans to come. The new priest's sister, Rita (Michaela Farrugia), will look after him.

Carmen has nowhere to go, but God keeps supplying signs to guide her. Some of the options she chooses are engaging and very funny. At one point, Carmen has a relationship with a young pawnbroker, Paulo (Steven Love), which includes more drama. Throughout, we have flashbacks to a relationship she had as a young girl with an Arab boy, Ahmad (Chakid Zidi).

There is a resolution of sorts by the end, though some story threads are incomplete.

This engaging movie is about blossoming in middle age after three decades of repressed living. Natascha McElhone is excellent, as is Steven Love as Paulo. Many of the fringe players are also very good. The cinematography makes full use of Malta's beauty. Highly recommended.

The director grew up in Toronto but had a Maltese heritage. The film is a joint Canadian-Malta project.

Reviewed by chong_an 6 / 10

Mildly implausible story of woman "freed" in middle age

Since the late WWII period, when she was 16, Carmen has been the unpaid housekeeper for her brother, the local priest. When he dies suddenly in the 1980s, a local woman's brother is supposed to be the replacement priest, and that woman will act as his housekeeper, displacing Carmen. The Catholic Church hypocritically and heartlessly throws Carmen out on the street, where she has various adventures and misadventures, helped in part by her knowledge of church processes.

Her backstory is that her life was saved by a young Arab, with whom she fell in love, and with family opposition, her role as housekeeper was the equivalent of "get thee to a nunnery".

Carmen's transformation from dour housekeeper to glamorous woman was a delight, as was the scenery. While this was "based on a true story", I wonder how much is fiction. Carmen seems to be good at giving advice to others, while she seems so naive herself. Meanwhile, the ending is a tad too Shakespearean for me.

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