Dear Mom

In this Brazilian melodrama, an uptight doctor leaves her husband for a female painter, further straining her contentious relationships with her mother and teenage daughter. Director Jeremias Moreira seems less concerned with the doctor’s sexual awakening than with her family ties, devoting much of the running time to dialogue-driven scenes in which the heroine and her mother ruminate on the past and dig up buried resentments. This is based on a play (by Maria Adelaida Amaral), and the stage origins show in all the worst ways: the performances are overstated, and the action feels cramped (even though the movie was shot in wide-screen). Still, the movie is fitfully insightful in depicting relationships between parents and children, showing how people carry issues from their formative years into adulthood. In Portuguese with subtitles.