Coisa Mais Linda

7 x 45 min.

Also known as Most Beautiful Thing, and it definitely is pretty to look at. With it being centered around a musical café it’s not bad to listen to either.

most beautiful thing posterBut what’s going on? A Brazilian housewife in the fifties follows her husband from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro only to discover he disappeared with all her money, leaving her indebted and without direction. Now what? Her image destroyed, her bank account empty, time to find a new husband!

Except she doesn’t want to. They had dreams of starting a restaurant, now she decides on starting a jazz club. As a naive little housewife there are plenty of things she has to learn while working against sexism, the previous mentioned debts and her parents. Good thing there are female friends that suffer (in other ways) along with her.

And all that in beautiful, bright surroundings (are so many shows and films so dark these days or is it just my screen settings?) that add a little bit extra to the trope of ‘woman recognises her worth and comes into her own’. Oh and yes, it’s in Portuguese, so you might have to get used to the idea of reading subtitles.

Coisa Mais Linda, Netflix 2019

Dark Dude

Well, even if they say life can be shitty, you really don’t know the half of it until you’ve dug up an outhouse.

Coming of age of a white Latino boy in New York City and Wisconsin. A couple of decades ago, as I discovered after initially being confused about the lack of cell phones and the very cheap comics.

Rico isn’t white enough nor rich enough to sit with the white students, nor black enough to hitch his wagon to the other Latino or black kids. He wants to become famous with the comic books he creates, but the friend that draws the accompanying comics is becoming more interested in drugs and less in drawings. His other friends with the lottery and moves to a less poisonous, no-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel place. After a situation, Rico follows him to Wisconsin.

There he learns about different ways of lives, different motivations, different ways of looking at the same problem. Rico doesn’t just run away from a bleak future, he’s so very hopeful that he can create a better one.

Dark Dude is a bittersweet story about responsibilities, race and family. YA how it should be.

Dark Dude, Oscar Hijuelos, Atheneum Books For Young Readers 2009