"Alice Júnior" Movie Review

Just like the song “Dragões’’ of Karina Buhr, Alice Júnior went to face lions in Araucárias do Sul, a bucolic city that, at first sight, was the natural habitat of converters. 

The feature film by filmmaker Gil Baroni premiered on September 28, 2019, was selected for the 70th Berlin Film Festival, arrived at Netflix this year and is now among the pre-candidates to represent Brazil in the 2021 edition of the Oscar.

  1. 1. "There are many types of body out there. Women with dicks. Men with vaginas"

    The storyline of the movie we all know. It is in the classic coming of age style. A girl moves to a new city. Without friends and feeling alone, she goes through tough times until she finds herself. So, even with such a banal narrative, what makes Alice Júnior special? The answer is simple: the protagonist.

    Romantic comedy is still an extremely heterosexual and cisnormative cinematographic branch. So by putting a trans protagonist, the existence of a film like Alice Júnior turns into, in essence, a revolution that accompanies our times.

  2. 2. “It makes it seem like I have to be beautiful to look like a woman. And I’m a woman no matter what. What does it mean to be beautiful anyway?”

    It's not an alienated, unreal and romanticized film. It’s colorful. Movies like “Alice Júnior” tell other trans narratives and open new horizons for such a marginalized social group. Yes, Alice (Anne Celestino) is a trans teenager who relates to a violent and segregationist context. However, she is also just a young woman, full of potential. The feature storyline succeeds in showing the viewer the oppressions that trans people face, and also the joys.

    The choices of the script go in the counterculture of other films that also portray trans people who, in general, tend to sum up trans lives to suffering, anguish and extreme violence. Alice Júnior doesn’t have that kind of narrative. It is a drama about adolescence and emotional ties. It's about transformation.

  3. 3. "Our Lady of Redemption is gonna have to deal with a trans student. And f*ck everyone who doesn’t like me!"

    It's a film destined for a young audience with all the cliches we are rightful to: the love triangle, eternal search for popularity and the longings that accompany the first kiss.

    If in the past the motion picture industry approached television to try to be popular, today it relies on the internet, its new great friend. Thus, Alice Júnior appropriated the language of memes and other strong features in the virtual age. Another positive point in the narrative base.

    With very good humor, the story contests patterns. Filled with visibility and trans representativity with much protagonism and feminism.

    To enter this journey with Alice, and also with Jean (Emmanuel Rosset), Viviane (Thaís Schier), Taísa (Surya Amitrano), Bruno (Matheus Moura), Lino (Igor Augustho) and Marisa(Katia Horn) get ready to laugh, cry and learn.

    A quote from the film sums up well the role that the work plays in contemporaneity: "Alice, you exist to shine'' and to inspire and teach.


The article above was edited by Beatriz Cristina.

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