I’ve got several idealized versions of my childhood. Usually, it’s set in the south of France and is an endless string of cool, windy and sunny days but, can be as varied as a sweltering summer in New York City running around with friends or perfect autumn afternoons jumping into piles of freshly raked leaves.
While these are idyllic cliches I’ve stolen from various films and books, I’m very happy to add Heitor Dhalia’s version of Brazil to the lot. Like finding a pile of old polaroids in some unknown corner of the house (something else that never featured in my childhood), Dhalia’s vision of a young girl’s coming of age by the sea is a saturated mix of ambers, golds and blues. Adrift is stunningly shot and smartly avoids being cloyingly affectionate of its lead. Speaking of which, Laura Neiva is pretty much perfect in bringing the nasty pettiness, caprice and general confusion that comes with the territory.
Ultimately, it all does feel far too familiar and, aside from the revelation that Vincent Cassel can speak Portuguese, very little is brought to the table.
But did I mention how gorgeous the whole thing looks? It’s a great summer film and you could do much worse than taking a few cues from the stylish set that inhabits Dhalia’s Brazilian beaches.