102 mins – Mexico 2019 – Subtitles – Dir: Lila Avilés
Starring: Gabriela Cartol, Agustina Quinci and Teresa Sánchez
Eve is a conscientious maid with a broad smile and kind demeanour. Punctual and enterprising, paying close attention to the details that make a premier hotel so rewarding a stay, she hopes her impeccable professionalism will bring her promotion to Hotel Presidente’s exclusive penthouse floor. Long, laborious shifts prevent Eve from caring for her child while she helps guests with their own children. She records her day-to-day activities, from ensuring rooms are immaculately presented each morning and liaising with her colleagues and hotel maintenance staff to enrolling in the hotel’s adult education programme, which will help her chances of promotion. When things don’t go as planned, Eve transforms her lonely explorations and newfound courage into the necessary strength to face a life outside the glimmering tower.
Avilés’ impressive debut profits from a spare script and nuanced direction, while Gabriela Cartol’s breakout performance brings charisma and warmth to Eve. With its dry humour and sly observations about class, privilege and exploitation, The Chambermaid is a confident, compelling and deeply resonant piece of filmmaking.
“This is brilliantly confident film-making...a masterpiece of restraint” The Observer