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cinemadaily | Undomesticated: “The Maid” in Theaters

cinemadaily | Undomesticated: "The Maid" in Theaters

“Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but for the title character of the pitch-black Chilean comedy ‘The Maid,’ it’s closer to infernal torment,” writes Scott Foundas in the Village Voice. “Neither a crude lampoon of domestic servitude nor a knee-jerk skewering of the bourgeoisie, the movie deftly shifts its point of view from downstairs to upstairs and back again, always keeping us off-balance as to where—if anywhere—its sympathies lie.” Sebastián Silva’s film opens today in New York, courtesy of Elephant Eye Films.

“The movie’s narrative design is at once simple and complex, and more appealing than its smeary visuals,” notes the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis. “It takes Mr. Silva a while to finish his story, but the ending of ‘The Maid’ is so intelligently handled and so generously and honestly conceived, it proves well worth the wait.”

Karina Longworth for Time Out: “This Chilean drama won prizes for best foreign feature and actress at Sundance, and deservedly so. Writer-director Sebastián Silva takes the handheld-video, made-for-a-song aesthetic of contemporary American DIY indie film and applies it to a story about Latin America’s class gap, as experienced from the near-bottom looking up.”

“Until its final act, Sebastián Silva’s ‘The Maid’ plays like a horror film, charting as it does the increasingly antisocial—if not borderline-psychotic—actions of Raquel (Catalina Saavedra), maid to a middle-class Chilean family for 20 years who seems increasingly on the verge of breaking into a full-on homicidal rampage,” writes Nick Schager in Slant Magazine. “Silva’s film would have done well to follow that tack through to the end, since what it comes up with instead is more prosaic: the gradual reawakening of a spirit too long buried under loneliness, bitterness, and self-deceptions.”

The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray: “‘The Maid’ is a little uneven in tone, and it may not be much more than a slight character sketch, but Silva and Saavedra get across the ennui and irony of a woman who’s been working diligently for two decades, only to find that her closest human relationships are with people who hold her job security in their hands.”

More from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly.

indieWIRE’s Brian Brooks has an interview with director Sebastián Silva, as does Nick Dawson at Filmmaker Magazine.

Watch the trailer for “The Maid” on YouTube.

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