The Maid Cleans Up With Critics

Chilean film has an unexpected ending that's worth waiting for
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2009 1:42 PM CDT
In this undated image released by Elephant Eye Films, Catalina Saavedra, stars as Raquel in a scene from "La Nana" or "The Maid."   (AP Photo/Elephant Eye Films)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Sundance darling The Maid, directed by Sebastián Silva, is a Chilean black comedy focusing on a longtime employee’s struggles with her employers and a succession of new maids. Critics say it’s an absorbing character study with an impressive lead performance:

  • “There’s more to Raquel and her world than appearances, and part of the pleasure of this unassuming movie is how Mr. Silva plays with our expectations,” writes Manohla Dargis for the New York Times. The director “likes to throw you off the scent, tossing in nervous and comic diversions.”

  • “Raquel, played with pent-up intensity by Catalina Saavedra, may not be overtly aware that turning 41 could be the tipping point when maids quietly turn into old maids, but if her body language is any indication, her subconscious is working overtime,” writes Ella Taylor for NPR. “Saavedra is outstanding.”
  • Silva “brings an ultraspecific feel to a potentially boilerplate class-relations satire, from the details of Raquel's living space to the absurd tedium of her daily routine,” writes Scott Foundas in the Village Voice.