As their housekeeper and nanny, Val has lived with Dr Carlos and Mrs Barbara in their luxury villa in Sao Paulo for the past 20 years. While she was raising their son Fabinho, her own daughter was being raised by family members elsewhere in Brazil. Mother and daughter have not seen each other in some ten years when Jessica comes to Sao Paulo to study and lodges for a while with the family. Tensions immediately arise in the household because the self-assured, headstrong Jessica refuses to accept the house rules and happily does her own thing. Val must choose: will she remain loyal to her employers or take her child’s side?
The social unease around class differences in modern Brazil is masterfully explored in Que Horas ela Volta. While the drama remains light-footed and there is plenty of humour, the tension often reaches fever pitch.
The film has won various awards worldwide, including at the Berlinale and Sundance. Que Horas ela Volta gives us hope while daring to be critical of all the characters. Brazil’s famous actress Regina Casé makes Val an irresistible character and is the film’s greatest asset.