Reaching for the Moon

2013 | LGBTQ/Docudrama | 118 minutes | Portuguese with English subtitles

Info

Reaching for the Moon dramatizes the  love story of American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares in Petropolis, Brazil, between 1951 and 1967. Complicating the relationship is the presence of Lota’s other American lover, Mary Morse. Elizabeth made her way to Brazil from the U.S. when she was undergoing writer’s block. Her mentor and friend, Robert Lowell, suggested she visit college friend, Mary Morse, who was Lota’s lover, living on a gorgeous estate outside of Rio. It doesn’t take long before Elizabeth and Lota become intimate. Mary is devastated but Lota insists she stay and offers to adopt a baby girl they can raise together. In the years to follow, Elizabeth wins a Pulitzer Prize, Mary is raising a delightful child, and Lota is immersed in creating a magnificent Flamingo Park. But the relationships come unhinged when Elizabeth accepts a six-month professorship at N.Y.U.

Cast
Miranda Otto (Elizabeth Bishop) / Gloria Pires (Lota de Macedo Soares) / Tracey Middendorf (Mary Morse) / Treat Williams (Robert Lowell)
Why Stream This Film?
A love triangle between three extraordinary women is not a good recipe for a happy ending. Living in the same household, their lives become tumultuous, passionate, and then heartbreakingly sad. It’s an unforgettable film. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 65%
  • Metacritic Score: 44
Accolades
  • San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival: Winner, Best Feature Film
  • Cinema Brazil Grand Prize: Winner, Best Picture;  Best Director (Bruno Barreto)
  • Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: Winner, Best Feature Film
The life of American Poet Laureate Elizabeth Bishop furnishes surprisingly vivid emotional material in REACHING for the MOON, which concentrates on her happy-sad love story with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares, the designer of Flamingo Park in Rio de Janeiro. A love triangle which also involves Lota’s other American lover Mary Morse is described against the eye-popping vistas of wealthy, carefree, tropical Brazil in the 1950s.

The Hollywood Reporter staff

The complex and heightened romance between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares is brought to the big screen with lush and emotional intensity by Brazilian director Bruno Barreto. The result is a resolutely melodramatic film that feels engagingly old-fashioned as it revels in its lesbian love-triangle storyline.
Mark Adams

Screen Daily

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