4 May: The Maid

Chile 2009 | 95 minutes | Spanish with English subtitles | Certificate 15

7.30pm Amersham Arms

Raquel has loyally served as the live-in maid for the Valdes family for 23 years. It’s like she’s one of the family – except she’s the one who does the washing up after a celebration for her birthday. When she begins to suffer dizzy spells, the family try to bring someone in to help out, but fiercely territorial Raquel engages in a series of increasingly aggressive attempts to drive away maid after maid. But when a beautiful, carefree young woman joins the household, there is a transformation that is both delightful and moving.

  • Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival
  • Best Foreign Film nomination, Golden Globes
  • Critics Award, Latin American Film Festival

“An unexpected combination: a gripping psychological, and also a poignant human drama. It really is edge-of-the-seat stuff, with a startling denouement, and an outstanding central performance from Catalina Saavedra.” Guardian

“It’s a difficult performance, which the mouse-like Saavedra accomplishes with the greatest skill, and [director] Silva refuses the easy way out by making the family affectionate and concerned. The result is funny as well as touching.” Evening Standard

“Powerplay between homeowners and the help has long been a film staple. Through understated, naturalistic technique, engaging, nuanced performances and assured storytelling that balances the suspenseful and the affecting, ‘The Maid’ offers a pleasingly sly, ultimately endearing take on the set-up.” Time Out

“Beware middle-aged women handling kitties! A quiet gem from Chile, Sebastián Silva’s ‘The Maid’ is a tart, thoroughly engaging and often suspenseful mixture of psychodrama and social satire.” Telegraph