The semi-moribund werewolf genre gets a flavorsome injection of Brazilian blood in Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas’s enjoyably ambitious Good Manners. [T]he picture itself is a hybrid of art house and genre cinema, combining sharp social commentary with grand guignol fantasy.
Clara (Isabel Zuaa) is an independent-minded, self-possessed professional caretaker from a favela in the teeming mega-metropolis’ poorer suburbs. She’s taken on as a live-in nanny by wealthy expectant mother Ana (Marjorie Estiano), and as the big day approaches Clara’s role shifts from servant to confidant/friend to lover. Meanwhile, Ana displays some decidedly unusual behavior during her pregnancy, her full-moon somnambulism nudging Good Manners steadily closer to fright-cinema territory.
Dutra and Rojas draw extensively and sensitively from previous werewolf capers of both literary and cinematic origin. They incorporate nods to classics such as John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London in a manner that will delight horror geeks […]. [Cinematographer] Rui Pocas and [production designer] Fernando Zuccolotto render the interiors and exteriors of Sao Paulo – its classes divided by the Pinheiros River – via suitably fable-like stylizations, the impact heightened by the sinisterly delicate fairy-tale tones of Guilherme and Gustavo Garbato’s classy, harp-heavy score.
Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter