A middle-aged lady is nudged out of her consolation zone in Paraguay’s “The Heiresses,” the nation’s submission for Oscar consideration.
That alternative appears largely based mostly on the brilliantly understated efficiency of lead actress Ana Brun as Chela, a previously rich socialite whose extra outgoing associate, Chiquita (Margarita Irun), is hauled off to jail after the couple run up money owed they’ll’t pay even after promoting off their stockpile of high quality crystal, furnishings and paintings.
After giving an aged neighbor (Maria Martins) a trip to her weekly card sport, Chela picks up a semi-regular gig as a car-service driver, ferrying feminine neighbors and buddies round in her classic Mercedes.
Author/director Marcelo Martinessi, in his function debut, retains the main focus nearly solely on girls all through, which shouldn’t really feel as revolutionary because it nonetheless does at the moment. (The occasional male voice or additional makes a fleeting look, however actually, this is a almost all-female zone.)
As Chela slowly learns to navigate on her personal — and to navigate the town of Asunción’s high-speed motorway — she makes a reference to the youthful, free-spirited and horny Angy (Ana Ivanova), at the same time as she’s making dutiful visits to her associate in lockup (which appears to be like rather more humane than the American model).
Gestures as small as Chela’s attempting one of Angy’s cigarettes or donning slinky sun shades really feel transgressive and sensual, and Brun’s splendidly expressive face registers the measured soften of a cloistered, and considerably calcified, life.
It’s a quiet, sluggish burn however one which stays with you.