CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

"The Maid" from Chile cleans up...

Nominated for a Golden Globe award for best foreign film and a winner at both the Sun dance and Miami Film Festivals, **The Maid** (**La Nana**) comes to town this week. After weeks of box office assault from special effects extravaganzas like **Avatar,** **The Main** is a refreshing change of pace.

The audience is introduced a to Raquel (Catalina Saavedra), a frumpy, cranky forty something year old maid who has been with the same family for two decades. The family celebrates her birthday and Raquel becomes more grumpy.

After seeing signs that Raquel's health is poor, the mother of the house decides to recruit more help. This proves to be a comedic disaster as the maids start marking their territory like two animals in the wild.

A passive aggressive war ensues and Raquel meets challenger after challenger. Kittens and children are used as weapons of mass distraction. Despite Racquel's antisocial behavior, la madre de la casa wants to keep her old maid around.

Actress Catalina Saavedra pulls off the contradictory sides of Raquel the maid. As introduced, Raquel is unlikeable and ugly. Yet when challenged by outsiders, one begins to root for the ugly duckling. Spoken in Spanish with English subtitles, the Saavedra pulls off the transition from hard case to vulnerable swan.

A charming film in it's own right, **The Maid** has American remake written all over it. It is a low budget motion picture that has the feel of being a home movie. Director/writer Sebastian Silva balances simple drama with dark comedy.

Produced in Chile, **The Maid** is the only motion picture from South American to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award this year. Given that the rest of the Golden Globe foreign film nominees are from Europe, one wonders the international impact a little low budget, but well made film like the **The Maid,** will have upon the business of international film making.
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