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Paris P. Pickard,
Anthony Michael Jones
Grappling with writer's block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary. Hoping to find inspiration on her sprawling estate, but she winds up with much more - a tempestuous relationship with her bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares, that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists.Written by
Involving, watchable, grown-up - sound like your kind of movie?
I enjoyed this story of a lengthy midlife love affair, "based on" (that is, "not cemented to the known facts of") real women of some mid-century renown. One, American poet Elizabeth Bishop, is quiet, slow to warm to strangers or share working drafts of her poems. See if Miranda Otto doesn't remind you of Deborah Kerr in her memorable 1940s and '50s roles (and clothes). In Brazil to visit an old college friend, Elizabeth meets Lota de Macedo Soares, a charismatic commander of attention and glamorously trousered architect. They become lovers and make their life in Brazil. All the characters, including a close male friend of Lota's and one of Elizabeth's, are revelations in the best sense: mature but unfinished adults, they meet their circumstances over nearly 20 years in ways not even they might be able to predict. Mark Twain said that fiction is obliged to meet our expectations but the truth isn't. Central Casting can provide "types," but history offers people like nobody else, which is why you'll find discussions here and elsewhere complaining that these lesbians were not put through their proper lesbian plot paces! The drunks were sometimes sober! People got depressed without enough foreshadowing! Ignore all that. This is a good quiet story, mostly but not all sad, about people learning themselves as they go, living genuinely if not always bravely.
And anyone who's ever dreamed of having a writer's sanctuary will fall rapturously in love with the al fresco study Lota builds for Elizabeth. Must be seen to be appreciated!
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