Kleber Mendonça Filho’s second feature is the beautifully observed and surprising story of an ageing music critic staging a stakeout against the developers in her apartment block.

Clara, a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic,is the last resident of the Aquarius, one of the few buildings of its age and character that remains in a rapidly changing seaside Recife neighborhood. Now that the other apartments have been swept up by a company with ambitious plans for redevelopment, pressures to move on surround Clara from all sides. But she has pledged to leave only upon death, and will engage in a cold war with the developers to keep a home that has been a silent witness to her entire life. The resulting confrontation is mysterious, frightening and nerve-wracking, tingeing even Clara’s most familiar routines with the tension of a thriller.

What they said

A densely observed and superbly acted portrait of a woman of a certain age.
Aquarius” is a marvelous and surprising act of portraiture, a long, unhurried encounter with a single, complicated person.