Reaching for the Moon


It is 1951. New York poet Elizabeth Bishop is looking for new inspiration for her work.  She travels to Rio de Janeiro to visit Mary, a college friend. The shy Elizabeth is overwhelmed by Brazilian sensuality. She is the antithesis to Mary’s dashing partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Although frosty at first, the architect soon makes a play for Elizabeth and, when her scheduled departure is unexpectedly delayed, the poet finally succumbs to Lota’s advances. Mary is jealous, but unconventional Lota is determined to have both women at all costs. Their ménage à trios is thrown off balance when Lota starts work on her biggest project to date, designing Parque do Flamengo in Rio. Elizabeth accepts an academic teaching post in the USA and the women drift apart. Lota, at all other times brimming with self-confidence, is inconsolable.Fuelled by destructive bouts of alcohol consumption, this eternal triangle plays out against the backdrop of the military coup of 1964. Bishop’s moving poems are at the core of a film which lushly illustrates a crucial phase in the life of this influential Pulitzer prize-winning poet.


  • Runtime

    120 min
  • Country

  • Year of Presentation

  • Year of Production

  • Director

    Bruno Barreto
  • Cast

    Miranda Otto, Gloria Pires, Tracy Middendorf
  • Production Company

    LC Barreto
  • Berlinale Section

  • Berlinale Category

Biography Bruno Barreto

Born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 1955, his parents are the film producers Luiz Carlos and Lucy Barreto. Having already directed his first short by the age of 11, he went on to create a further 15 short films before making his feature debut in 1972 and his first international production GABRIELA, starring Marcello Mastroianni, in 1982. He has also worked as a producer and screenwriter, for his brother Fábio Barreto among others. Since 1989 he has often worked in the uSA. His feature film ÚLTIMA PARADA 174 was nominated for a foreign language Oscar in 2009.

Filmography Bruno Barreto

1970 Este Silêncio Pode Significar Muita Coisa | 1971 Emboscada | 1972 Tati, A Garota | 1974 A Estrela Sobe | 1976 Dona Flor E Seus Dois Maridos (Dona Flor And Her Two Husbands) | 1981 O Beijo No Asfalto | 1982 Amor Bandido | 1982 Menino De Rio | 1983 Gabriela | 1986 Além Da Paixão | 1987 Romance Da Empregada | 1990 A Show Of Force | 1992 The Heart Of Justice | 1995 Carried Away | 1997 O Que É Isso, Companheiro? (Four Days In September) | 1998 One Tough Cop | 2000 Bossa Nova | 2003 View From The Top | 2004 O Casamento De Romeu E Julieta (Romeo And Juliet Get Married) | 2007 Caixa Dois (Money On The Side) | 2008 Última Parada 174 (Last Stop 174) | 2011 Amor Em 4 Atos, Tv-Serie, Regie Mehrerer Folgen