The Maid (La Nana) follows Raquel, a live-in maid who has worked over 20 years for an upper class Chilean family. As it becomes apparent that Raquel can no longer run the house alone, the family decides to bring on another maid to help lighten her load. Jealous, Raquel concocts ploys to run out every person hired. The family goes through a string of maids as they try to find some kind of balance. More after the jump.
Though a bit slow in sections, The Maid is a delightful film. A new side of Raquel is revealed in her interactions with each new addition to the household, making it an interesting character study. Raquel is irritating and childish, but her efforts are both amusing and sad. The film sways toward the comedic side, but it also gives you a glimpse into Raquel’s heartbreaking loneliness.
Sebastián Silva’s direction is a success, as the acting is the most notable aspect of the movie. Catalina Saavedra’s Raquel is rich is depth, from her physical awkwardness to her inner longings. Mariana Loyola is also fantastic as Lucy, one of the other maids hired by the family.
The movie, which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, is a Chilean/Mexican co-production. It is presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Since the film does such a great job at telling the story visually, though, the subtitles aren’t cumbersome.
The look of the film isn’t anything out of the ordinary, as it is more concerned with exploring the characters. Visually it is more reminiscent of a home video than a Hollywood production. The film also shows a lot of seemingly mundane tasks that keep the pace slow but help reveal tidbits about each person.
The Maid is a worthwhile pick and a great alternative for those already sick of all the summer blockbusters.
Special Features: The DVD includes “Behind the scenes with cast and crew,” which is a series of clips that drag on a little too long. It also comes with “Storyboarding The Maid,” which is a three-minute montage of storyboard pages followed by corresponding movie clips. Lastly, there is a gallery called “Photos from director Sebastián Silva.”
Film: B plus
Special Features: C