Reaching for the Moon
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Reaching for the Moon
DAYS IN SEPTEMBER, DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS) returns with a sophisticated tale of an unlikely romance between two extraordinary artists, set against the backdrop of political upheaval and a clash of cultures. Grappling with writer's block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). Hoping to find inspiration on Mary's sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more - a tempestuous relationship with Mary's bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A classy, grown-up drama."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"In his 19th feature, Mr. Barreto assuredly embraces an approach that's counter to much received wisdom about Bishop's life and work. But his film ultimately dooms itself."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
"While the provincial Brazilian scenery and slick period production design are certainly seductive to the eye, it is what happens in the foreground that truly matters."
‑ Leigh Paatsch, Herald Sun (Australia)
"The passionate and troubled love affair between reserved American poet Elizabeth Bishop and flamboyant Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares is a yin-yang affair in this engaging bio pic"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"Based on a true story, this Brazilian drama has a lush authenticity as it tells a story that has strong historical relevance even as it sometimes slips into heightened melodrama."
‑ Rich Cline,
"Despite its worthy subject, this feature by veteran Brazilian director Bruno Barreto has a bluntness that's at odds with Bishop's personality and work."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"A film which, despite its almost parodically lofty title, takes strictly the most pedestrian approach to its subject ..."
‑ Calum Marsh, Village Voice
"Its strength is its two beautifully observed complementary performances."
‑ Philippa Hawker, Sydney Morning Herald
"Reaching for the Moon is the shamefully unpoetic..."
‑ Blake Howard, 2UE That Movie Show
"The film, much like our protagonist, would benefit from letting itself be a little more uninhibited."
‑ Stefan Pape, HeyUGuys
"Everything ultimately gives way to the stately, simplistic, inevitable pace of by-the-numbers biopics, from some woefully tinny, hit-and-run screenwriting to the usual difficulties surrounding the dramatization of an author's craft."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"The period detail is finely caught, the lovemaking scenes achieve a tenderness and intimacy rare in contemporary cinema, and for good measure a political coup is happening offstage. We more than get our money's worth."
‑ Evan Williams, The Australian
"The rather pale and uninspiring story of obscure poet Elizabeth Bishop's love affair in Brazil in the 1950s and '60s."
‑ Simon Weaving, Screenwize
"Baretto's movie, which is sensual and emotionally intense, benefits from [its] traditional approach and I don't think audiences who love to revel in this kind of movie will mind it, either."
‑ Richard Knight, Windy City Times
"All the film's dynamism lies in the script and performances: Miranda Otto's Elizabeth is a perceptive, self-absorbed boozer; Glória Pires's Lota is an energetic, elitist bully."
‑ Charlotte O'Sullivan, This is London
More reviews for Reaching for the Moon on Rotten Tomatoes