DROWSY AND WISTFUL, Me You Them opens with Darlene (Regina Cas驠leaving her impoverished village to give birth to an illegitimate child. When she promises her mother she'll come back one day, the old woman tells her not to bother, adding plainly, "God prevent you having a daughter." Stunningly shot by Breno Silveira to capture the still blue nights and yellow days of the Brazilian northeast, Andrucha Waddington's film also illustrates the calm invention required for a woman to carve some happiness out of a forbidding world.
ME YOU THEM
directed by Andrucha Waddington with Regina Cas鬠Lima Duarte, Stꮩo Garcia, and Lu???Carlos Vasconcelos opens March 30 at Seven Gables
Upon returning home with her toddler son in tow, Darlene's prospects are dire. She finds her mother is deceased, and when an aging Osias (Lima Duarte) offers a practical but unromantic marriage proposal, she accepts. "I like you," he says. "You're not ugly. As far as I'm concerned, it's a deal."
As Osias immediately settles into his male privilege and turns Darlene into a veritable servant, she finds purpose and affection elsewhere, first giving birth to a child by a farmhand, then, in succession, romancing and producing children with the kindly Zezinho (Stꮩo Garcia) and passionate young Ciro (Lu???Carlos Vasconcelos), who both move into Osias' home to form an uneasy communal household.
The movie inevitably droops once we hook into the romantic pattern, and Waddington can't stop the nagging feeling that Darlene must be the most troublingly fertile woman in Brazil. Waddington and his screenwriter, Elena Soarez, could easily have turned all this into a clever tale of cuckoldry. Instead, they wisely relax and explore something more substantial. Embodied by an earthy Cas鬠Darlene matter-of-factly defuses the tensions of her disparate lovers, inspiring an understanding of the good life just within their reach. Me You Them celebrates the vital ability of women to release in men the unmanly desire for familial bliss.