2018 | Drama | 102 minutes | Spanish with English subtitles
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.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
- Metacritic Score: 81
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.
Thanks to this incredibly patient and emphatic film, it’s likely to transform the way we perceive an entire category of our fellow humans.
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.
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.
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