Review of “The Second Mother”

Hello movie fans!

It’s been a while since my last movie review! It’s “Fête du Cinéma” in France from today until Wednesday so it is an opportunity to watch some movies at a lower cost. Reading subtitles doesn’t scare me so I went to see a Brazilian movie this afternoon. Here is my review of The Second Mother, enjoy!

The Second Mother is a Brazilian drama directed by Anna Muylaert with Regina Casé, Michel Joelsas, Camila Márdila, Karine Teles and Lourenço Mutarelli. This movie came out in June 24, 2015, and received the Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

second mother

What’s the story? Val is a house servant who works for a wealthy family in Sao Paulo and she is like a second mother for the son Fabinho. One day, the irruption of Jessica, the daughter that she could not raise, will upset everything…

The film focuses on several themes: domestic work in Brazil, criticism of the bourgeoisie, the struggle of social classes, maternal love and family conflicts.

Val, the pillar of the story, is a very touching and endearing character. She was not able to raise her own daughter but considers Fabinho like her son. The teenager prefers to trust her and hug her rather than his own mother because Barbara is never available for him and doesn’t know how to cheer him up. Plus, his father Carlos is depressed and does nothing of his life.  This is the typical portrait of a neurotical family. We quickly see that Val is the cement of the house. Indeed, they would all be lost without her. In fact, she has to be the mother of everyone: she cooks, does the laundry, wakes people up, checks that the father takes his medication, reassures the mother, helps the son…

The problem is that Val could not be a mother for Jessica. She had to abandon her when she was a little girl and when they meet again after several years of separation, there is a gap between them. She loves her daughter but she cannot take her side because of her social submission. Liberated and proud, Jessica refuses to endure this way of life and will not hesitate to show everyone that she doesn’t care about social barriers. I like this character because she is reckless, smart and determined. Otherwise, the father and the son will not see her as the daughter of a servant but as a guest, to the great detriment of Barbara and Val.


According to me, this movie is full of life and emotions. It is funny, sad and tender at the same time. The characters are credible despite some caricatures and the film is well paced. Social inequalities in Brazil and family relationship problems are well portrayed. Plus, it makes us understand that we should never judge someone on his social origins and that success must be earned…

If you haven’t seen it yet, go see The Second Mother, it’s a beautiful movie that will give you another perspective of life.

Don’t hesitate to give your opinion in the comment field, have a nice evening 🙂


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