As Boas Maneiras [Good Manners] (2017)

As Boas Maneiras
Director: Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas
Writer: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
Cast: Isabél Zuaa, Marjorie Estiano, Miguel Lobo, Cida Moreira
Part of: /slash 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 4.5.2018

Plot:
Clara (Isabél Zuaa) is a nurse looking for a job. Ana (Marjorie Estiano) is rich, but alone and pregnant – and she needs someone who will take care of her. Clara takes the job. Both of them need a little time to warm up to each other, but once they do, they bond strongly and fiercely. But when the baby is born, things change very quickly.

As Boas Maneiras is a wonderfully cute film that turns into a weird and slightly boring entirely different film at around the halfway mark. I loved the first part, but the second part not so much.

SPOILERS after the jump.

The first part of As Boas Maneiras is all about Clara and Ana and how they go from a slightly uncomfortable employer-employee relationship to a loving romantic relationship, albeit one that isn’t entirely unproblematic. And I loved that development, as I loved Ana and Clara. I was completely invested in their fortune and rooting for them.

And then Ana’s baby is born. The birth kills Ana and the baby turns out to be a little werewolf that Clara raises as her own. That werewolf plotline is pretty much the main event of the film – and I just didn’t care for it. And I say this as an absolute fan of werewolves. I should have been all over this.

But I wanted to stay with Ana and Clara and when the film took their relationship away, I started to wonder why I should stay with it. In the end, I didn’t. The film should have ended with the birth, if you ask me, or without Ana’s death. Unfortunately it didn’t, leading to a lackluster second part that culminates in an ending that didn’t work for me, either.

I really wanted to like the film. It had everything that should have made me like it. Overall, though, I can only shrug at it.

Summarizing: Maybe if you just turn it off once the baby is born.

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