11371

Live-In Maid

2004 Comedy Drama

A once-wealthy Buenos Aires socialite who has fallen on hard times finds the roles between herself and her longtime live-in maid suddenly reversed in director Jorge Gaggero's class-conscious drama. Mrs. Beba is a 58-year-old woman whose days as a well-to-do socialite have long since passed, and Dora is the 51-year-old housekeeper who has been Mrs. Beba's live-in housekeeper for 35 years. As a successive cycle of personal and financial crises force Mrs. Beba to sell door-to-door beauty products as a way of making ends meet, she finds it increasingly difficult to pay her employee in a timely manner. Since Dora has been using her money to construct a house in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, this naturally poses something of a problem. It's been six months since Dora has received her last paycheck, and her patience has finally run out. Yet, despite the fact that class differences continually come into play between the pair, there is no denying the bond that has formed between them over the course of their three decades together. When Mrs. Beba finally produces enough money to pay Dora's debt and offer a six-month salary advancement, Dora decides to finally strike out on her own despite her employer's objections. Later, after Dora moves into her new home with her weekend boyfriend, Miguel, Mrs. Beba's energy and telephone services are turned off for lack of payment. By the time summer arrives, Mrs. Beba must sell off her apartment just to stay out of debt. Remembering that her old employee has a new home, the now-homeless Mrs. Beba kindly offers to give her furniture to Dora. But Dora can't turn away an old friend in need, and before they know it, Dora and Mrs. Beba are living together once again. more..

Director: Jorge Gaggero

Starring: Norma Aleandro, Norma Argentina, Marcos Mundstock, Raul Panguinao, Susana Lanteri

Reviews

  • What Live-in Maid offers is a pitch-perfect observation of life on a continent where forms are adhered to, distances aren't really kept, and your best friend is the person who knows to pour the cheap domestic whiskey into the empty bottle of imported stuff before your bridge buddies show up to judge you.

    Carina Chocano - Los Angeles Times

    19 January 2013

  • Modest in scope, but it feels complete, fully inhabited, in a way that more overtly ambitious movies rarely do.

    A.O. Scott - The New York Times

    19 January 2013

  • A vivid portrait of a society in the midst of wrenching change, but it transcends its immediate context to become a thoughtful, even unforgettable, chamber piece, performed with exquisite subtlety by two fine actresses.

    Ann Hornaday - The Washington Post

    19 January 2013

  • Powered by two first-rate performances, Jorge Gaggero's debut feature is full of psychological nuance and keen social observation.

    James Greenberg - The Hollywood Reporter

    19 January 2013

  • Quite easily Live-in Maid could have descended into a kind of Joan Crawford-Bette Davis gorgon salute. But everyone here seems way too smart for that, though apparently the movie is being prepped for an English-language version. So beware.

    Wesley Morris - The Boston Globe

    19 January 2013

Awards

  • Best First Film (Mejor Ópera Prima)

    Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards (2006)

  • Buried Treasure

    Chlotrudis Awards (2008)

     
  • Norma Argentina

    Lleida Latin-American Film Festival (2005)

  • Cinema - Best Character Actress

    Premios ACE (2006)

  • World Cinema - Dramatic

    Sundance Film Festival (2005)