The Chambermaid

2018 | Drama | 102 minutes | Spanish with English subtitles

Info

Eve is a thirtysomething woman toiling as a chambermaid in a posh hotel in Mexico City. She covers an entire floor of rooms. The film follows her dreary routine of cleaning each room, tidying up the mess, changing the sheets and towels, vacuuming the carpets, dusting the cabinets, bagging the garbage, and scrubbing the bathrooms.  She settles into a rhythm of working quickly and efficiently. Eve works hard to provide for her four-year old son. She orders the cheapest snacks in the cafeteria. A guest pays her to watch her baby while she takes a shower. Eve is deflated when her supervisor warns her not be seen by the guests when she’s cleaning the room. Eve’s hope is that she will be promoted and earn more money servicing  a floor with executive rooms. The contrast between the wealth of the guests, the elegance of the hotel, and her dismal life is heartbreaking. 

Cast
Gabriela Cartol (Eve) / Agustina Quinci (Hotel employee) / Teresa Sánchez (Hotel employee) 
Why Stream This Film?
The Chambermaid is the antithesis of the plot-heavy action film. So it’s not for everyone. But director Lila Aviles has brilliantly depicted the minutiae of the chambermaid’s dull and tiring job, her frequent calls to her son, and her hopes to get that promotion that will put her at the next higher level at the hotel. After you’ve see this film you will have a deeper more compassionate feeling towards the many people who toil to make the lives of others more comfortable.  
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
  • Metacritic Score: 81
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Submission by Mexico for Best International Feature Film
  • New York Times Critics Choice

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Slow, steady, and with an exacting eye for detail, THE CHAMBERMAID is a painfully astute observational drama about a young woman working in one of Mexico City’s posh hotels. The film unlocks a world full of hope and disappointment, a workday that may bring peril or boredom. It’s successful at questioning the power dynamics of a workplace that has lost its sense of compassion.
Monica Castillo

RogerEbert.com

Thanks to this incredibly patient and emphatic film, it’s likely to transform the way we perceive an entire category of our fellow humans.
Peter Debruge

VARIETY

Lila Avilés’s modest and miraculous first feature finds pathos and a hint of magic in the routines of a young hotel worker. The film’s style is austere—but its visual wit and emotional sensitivity lift it above the minimalist miserablism that drags down so many well-meaning films about modern workers. After you’ve seen it, the world looks different.
A.O.Scott

The New York Times

An eerily atmospheric, poignant, disquieting movie about 21st-century luxury and the invisible servant class required to maintain it. Cartol gives a persuasive performance as Eve, whose inner life is always simmering and bubbling under, while she must maintain a facial blankness as cloudless and pristine as the towels and sheets.
Peter Bradshaw

The Guardian

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