The Gilded Cage (2013) Poster

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Very enjoyable
christophe9230027 April 2013
Let's say it first, members of the Portuguese community will probably like this movie more than the average viewer, particularly regarding all the little details (verbal tics for example). But is it really abnormal for that type of movie ?

In this sense, it must be noted that Ruben Alves, to his credit, managed to depict this community with sincerity, accuracy and tenderness. The gallery of characters, from the main to the supporting, is outstanding and perfectly played by all the actors (to think Rita Blanco didn't speak French before shooting is incredible !).

The plot is very classic, but the quality of the dialogues, actors and mise-en-scène easily compensate for this lack of originality and make La Cage Dorée a very enjoyable movie.
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Great directing on a humorous portrait of two generations of emigrants
thefadingcam8 September 2013
The most successful movie of the year so far in Portugal and France, La Cage Dorée is a dramatic like comedy about a Portuguese family emigrated in France for 30 years. Ruben Alves, the director, is himself the son of a Portuguese couple emigrated in France, being La Cage Dorée an homage to his own parents. And what an homage! La Cage Dorée is the perfect depiction of that generation of Portuguese emigrants, the hard working, humble and low self esteemed employees that refuse to forget the simple things they love in Portugal, such as good food, beer, football and even gossip. Having a part of my family emigrated in France as well, I was astonished by how accurate and real this representation was, mixing french and Portuguese in the dialog. Plus the gap between french-Portuguese youth and this older generation is masterfully recreated, being hard to find anyone in the audience that would not connect with this movie. The characters are rich and detailed, with very good interpretations, particularly by Rita Blanco with a character that will reach you. The directing goes well with the line of modern french cinema of the likes of François Ozon, with beautiful photography, great picture plans and a very fine dose of European humor. La Cage Dorée was indeed a very positive surprise, standing as a role model for Portuguese and even french movies to come. Visit thefadingcam blog for more!
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Masterpiece! Outstanding self-portrait of a generation...
RJGomes7 August 2013
Exceeded all expectations; it's a gem of a movie, especially for a Portuguese one! Nice plot, a perfect cast, a postcard location in Portugal and, most of all, a whole generation in a self-portrait of the Portuguese community in France, with some tears between many laughs…

Even so, I do believe that director Ruben Alves missed the chance to end the movie a few instants earlier, closing a comedy in the traditional drama's style, as last minutes appeals for some tears from the audience. In my opinion, the plot is too strong to begin and end as a comedy, and some work might have been done to take the opportunity to run the movie in a serious "La Vita È Bella" style, instead of the silly path for the nice feeling sensation, with Pauleta's presence being a completely non-sense – as the Brazilian's says, "Puxa Saco" (it has no translation)!

Anyway, I strongly recommend it to be seen; we only have a masterpiece like this once in a while …
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A pleasant surprise
aaraujo-112-30336315 September 2013
La cage dorée it's an accurate portrayal of the Portuguese emigrant without all the drama, setbacks and sacrifices of other cinematic approaches. The story is simple, fun and realistic. The film is set in Paris, but it could have been set in any of the countries where there's a Portuguese emigrant, because that's exactly how they are: hardworking people, dreaming about their home country but loving the host country nonetheless. Pity that the linguistic puns will probably go unnoticed to non-Portuguese speakers, as well as the cultural mix-ups that more often than not mistake the Portuguese for the Spanish which, again, are absolutely true. The film is delightful and very entertaining. Congratulations to Ruben Alves, I'll be looking forward to watching more of his work.
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You never know what you have until you lose it.
Horst_In_Translation3 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This quote can be applied to lots of things. Your good health. The love of your life. Or losing your index finger in a freak accident. It also fits Ruben Alves' first directorial feature. Headlined by veteran actors Rita Blanco and Joaquim de Almeida, the film is one of the year's biggest sleeper hits in France and, so far, the most successful movie of the year in Portugal.

All in all, it fulfilled my expectations. I never had a 'wow' moment, but it's easy to see how it attracts audiences en masse. It's a well-executed non-offensive comedy with the right amount of drama to make it accessible and enjoyable for viewers from all age-groups. The serious moments mostly arise from the family members' inner conflict of being forced to choose between their Portuguese roots and their home away from home in France.

I felt Alves did a convincing job early on exploring the characters and depicting how every Ribeiro found his very own way of adapting to life in France without neglecting their Portuguese origins. When everybody finds out about the family possibly leaving and tries to do their best to keep them and their workforce, it becomes a bit messy though. Especially the revenge acts of the heads of the family feel out of place. We need to remember that the old lady with her divine flowers and Monsieur Cailaux have been close with the Ribeiros for decades and they knew their actions would hurt them a lot financially and emotionally. Their children hooking up also seemed like nothing more than a happy coincidence. The feelings are real and happened before the start of the movie, long before the vineyard. Strangely enough, the only person who would have deserved a tongue-lashing, Maria's sister, whose curiosity triggered the whole tohubohu, and came up with, by far, the most vile fantasy, got off very lightly.

What was excellent, however, again was the way the movie ended. The director got himself in a position where I thought 75 minutes into the film, no way he can find a way to end this on a high note that makes the audience leave the cinema with a smile. But he did. I wouldn't say "La cage dorée" (The Gilded Cage) is a must-see, but if you're into family comedies, if French or Portuguese films are your cup of Marriage Frères or you're simply always on the lookout for films that broaden your horizon when it comes to foreign cultures, it's definitely worth checking out. Bon Noite!
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Feel good movie
joandasilou5 September 2013
Without telling the story of the first movie of the film director Ruben Alves, "La cage dorée" is a comedy that deals with relations between immigrants and French; employers and employees, parents and children; neighbors; lovers and close family in a small community in central Paris. The film is a feel good comedy and touches the heart by the beautiful, funny and smart dialogues, the perfect interpretation of French and Portuguese actors, first and second roles, and a discrete and sensitive mise en scene. It is not necessary to be French or Portuguese to be moved by the issues and personal choices of the main characters, just have some feelings.
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Not so golden
valadas8 August 2013
But very amusing after all. A couple of Portuguese immigrants living and working in Paris, France for more than 30 years, she a janitor in a condominium and he a mason in a small firm, receive the information that a distant relative in Portugal has left them a fortune as heritage but with the condition that they must return to live in Portugal. This creates great stress to them since they both maintain very cordial relations with their bosses and their children are already grown-up French citizens who are not in the mood of going to Portugal a country very strange to them. Their bosses (chiefly the husband's one) try to improve their working conditions to prevent their leaving. All this story develops itself in several episodes full of humour without breaking its natural realism and the authenticity of the labour, family and social relations (with ups and downs). A funny story that gives you a happy frame of mind mixed up with a healthy sentimentality. A final word for the cast's performance both of the Portuguese (Rita Blanco, Maria Vieira and Joaquim de Almeida among others) and the French which is excellent and very convincing moreover.
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jrgcarneiro25 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I lived in France then got back to Portugal. I know many emigrants and many French people. Many different kind of each. And I can say that I saw almost all of them in the movie, and that's amazing. For most of the people, the movie is very good, for Portuguese people, it is fantastic, but for Portuguese emigrants (or former) in France, it is really over the top! Congratulation Ruben Alves, tu contastes une histoire comme deve ser, caraille! ;) There is small details that could have been handled better. Lourdes and Maria have a different level of french (strange for sisters, considering that Lourdes speaks perfect french). It would have been better if José had a bit more of Portuguese accent. Another detail, since they are from the north (Douro, use of B instead of V), Fado doesn't have much (not to say nothing) to do with it. They should be listening Rancho, and eventually Pimba music that is far more popular.
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Best Portuguese movie in a while
jpdrande26 December 2015
I just watched this film and the immediate takeaway was that I should have watched it sooner. The movie has a strong base on stereotypes, giving you, from the beginning, a very generalized emigrated Portuguese family, appealing in a great way to Portuguese viewers. However, this movie is not, and should not be, restricted to those same viewers and a viewer that is not Portuguese will be able to have a pleasant time enjoying the movie.

The dialogue is made in a great way, satirizing a whole generation of Portuguese emigrants, that mix the french and Portuguese language in a comical way. The acting is also on point and the actors were able to carry a great story, filled with just the right amount of comedy and dramatic moments.

The movie is good and while stereotyping a lot of things for history purpose, it kinda escapes the stereotype that has been formed about Portuguese movies: that they suck (or are average at best). I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but it sure is an enjoyable film, granted to put some tears in your eyes and some smiles on your face.
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War isn't fun, but comedy is war
Karl Self22 June 2015
What is it with people and culture-clash-comedies these days? Maybe it's that they offer respite from an almost tyrannical political correctness and allow us to remember the olden days, when it was still okay to point fingers, throw stones and stereotype. When you were allowed to have a good old chuckle at some minority's expense. The effete, fat kid in class, is all I'm saying. And don't act as if you don't know what I mean. So maybe it meant years of therapy to him, but also oodles of fun to everybody else. Or maybe it's that those minorities of cult-clash-coms always live in an enviably solid microcosmos. Maybe we long for a bit more structure these days. Otherwise, I can't explain why this pretty slight film is so popular. It's about a Portugese couple who have eked out a living for thirty years in Paris doing menial jobs -- as a concierge and a builder respectively. When they inherit and get the chance to return to the "homeland" everyone around them is trying to sabotage their plans by making them feel extra welcome and valued. Actually, that's a pretty good plot. Only the comedy is so sanitized and anti-anarchic, the drama is so construed, the people are so well-adjusted, good-looking and nice, that any attempt at humour is nipped in the bud. The filthy rich owner is trying to woo his ageing bricklayer, rather than throw him out on the street and replace him with the next minion? Wouldn't that be nice! But it's not funny. To be funny, you have to be mucho mean, and you can't have a go at the Nobel Peace Price at the same time.
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