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Me You Them

A true story about a woman simultaneously living with three husbands served as the inspiration for Brazilian director Andrucha Waddington's Me You Them—a film Waddington describes as an exploration of "the concessions you make in your life to get what you want." Regina Case (Moon Over Parador) stars as the sexy, sturdy, and very pregnant Darlene, who gets stood up at the altar. In order to get a roof over her head and provide a home for her son, she agrees to marry the much older, money-grubbing Osias (Lima Duarte) who sees in Darlene a workhorse who will cook, clean, and do heavy work in the cane fields. This allows Osias to retire to his hammock, where he listens to the radio in between barking orders at Darlene. Darlene takes her harsh life of poverty and hard work in stride, showing a serenity and self confidence that defies the macho world that surrounds her. When it becomes clear that Osias has little interest in her sexually, Darlene finds alternate sources for her sexual needs. Darlene's second son is much darker-skinned than Osias, and her third son is the offspring of Osias' cousin ZeZinho (Stenio Garcia), who has moved in with the family. The third man to join the household is the young and handsome Ciro (Luis Carlos Vasconcelos), who sweeps Darlene off her feet and offers her the tenderness and passion she needs. Initial jealousy from Osias and Zezinho towards Ciro is soon muted when they realize that if they refuse to include Ciro into the family they could lose Darlene and end up as two lonely old men. As men and babies slowly fill the house, the film observes each character closely to monitor (mostly through facial expressions and reaction shots) how each of these individuals adapts to this evolving family of misfits. Waddington employs a minimalist style in the first half of Me You Them, filming the characters in wide shots against the desolate and haunting Brazilian landscape, and telling the story in short scenes that string together long periods of time. As the film progresses, the viewer is drawn closer to the characters and into the unfolding events in the lives of this unique family. While all of the performances are notable, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Case — with her odd looks and falling-out-of-her-dress physical sensuality — playing the good-natured, sexually alluring Darlene. Me You Them has both the look and feel of a sophisticated art film, treating the viewer with intelligence and enriching our understanding of human nature. The film also showcases the music of the popular and talented Gilberto Gil. Columbia TriStar's DVD is presented in both anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and full-frame, with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 Portuguese and English subtitles. Extras include a thoughtful and interesting audio commentary with Waddington, the theatrical trailer, and filmographies. Keep-case.
—Kerry Fall

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