Breaking Up | Chicago Reader

Breaking Up

In the opening scene of this very talky 2002 comedy, a group of Brazilian intellectuals discuss Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's famed stages of dying (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance); the screenplay then applies them to the breakup of a relationship. Cabral, the husband, justifies his desire to take a “time out” from his marriage with some philosophical sleight of hand; his wife at first resists, then agrees when sparks fly between her and another man. The couple spend the rest of the movie intellectualizing their angst like Brazilian versions of Woody Allen characters. Director Domingos de Oliveira's lively direction nearly compensates for none of the characters being particularly appealing. In Portuguese with subtitles. 116 min.

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