Good Manners (As Boas Maneiras)

Good Manners (As Boas Maneiras)

Directors: Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas

Runtime: 2h 15min

Cast: Isabél Zuaa, Marjorie Estiano, Miguel Lobo

Synopsis: Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of São Paulo, is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana as the nanny for her unborn child. The two women develop a strong bond, but a fateful night changes their plans.


From Brazilian filmmakers, Marco Dutra & Juliana Rojas (Hard Labor, 2011), Good Manners is a visually exciting and boundary-pushing jewel of genre cinema which won the Special Jury Prize at Locarno (2017).

Set in São Paulo, the film follows Clara (Isabél Zuaa), a lonely nurse from the outskirts of the city who is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana (Marjorie Estiano) to be the nanny of her soon to be born child. Against all odds, the two women develop a strong bond. But a fateful night marked by a full moon changes their plans.

With a plot springing from an urban legend, this fiercely inventive Brazilian “creature feature” combines sharp social observation and lesbian desire with unsettling fantasy elements mixing wisdom, creativity and multiple genres. It is a dark fairy tale in which horror, lycanthropy, comedy, drama and even musical numbers are blended together. The directors’ inspiration in the early Disney animated features, particularly Sleeping Beauty (1959) is evident in the use of colour and music in key sequences.

There are strong performances from Isabél Zuaa, Marjorie Estiano and Miguel Lobo; atmospheric cinematography from Rui Poças; and a highlight of the film is the musical score from brothers Guilherme and Gustavo Garbato, with chilling and beautiful lullabies.

Good Manners skilfully juggles contrasting genre shifts while taking a distinctive and sensitive look at female relationships.


Streaming on MUBI

Images courtesy of MUBI