2009. Chile. Sebastián Silva. 95 min.
Sunday, March 29, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
2009. Chile. Directed by Sebastián Silva. This sharply etched portrait of a tightly wound domestic servant and her passive-aggressive relationship to her middle-class family is given tremendous force and tragicomic relief in the remarkable, prizewinning lead performance by Catalina Saavedra. Somewhat intimidating to her mistress, barely recognized by the master, loved and feared by the children, her twenty-three years of live-in service have her believing that she's part of the family, although her behavior belies her own powers of self-deception. Her resistance to change, however, is fierce and childlike, until another maid comes along to help her untie her inner knots and look outside the family plot. Skillfully upping the dramatic temperature through accumulated details until he lets loose in later scenes, Silva has crafted an appropriately claustrophobic and terribly funny film. 95 min.