☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼(☼) out of 10☼
In his (mighty impressive!) sophomore fiction film, Eduardo Nunes delivers a lyrical meditation on love, life, death and God, masterly blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, while providing the viewer with an immersive sensory experience. Based on short stories by the acclaimed Brazilian writer Hilda Hilst and told or rather, depicted from the perspective of an adolescent protagonist, Maria (an assured debut by Bárbara Luz), this fairy tale-ish psychological / coming-of-age drama eschews plot in favor of jaw-dropping visuals and dense, somewhat ambiguous mood. Leaving you with questions rather than answers, Unicórnio (Unicorn) progressively pulls you deeper into a dream-like state by virtue of its long takes, sparse dialogue and languorous pacing which surely demands an extra dose of patience. The awe-inspiring, ultra-wide screen imagery oft-bursting with highly saturated colors (many kudos to cinematographer Mauro Pinheiro Jr.) is nothing short of magical, transforming even the most banal of actions into a pure poetry heightened by Zé Nogueira's evocative score.