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December 12–18, 2014

Once Upon a Time, Verônica
Era uma vez eu, Verônica

Film still: Once Upon a Time, Veronica


Film still: Once Upon a Time, Veronica


Best Film
Best Cinematography
Best Screenplay
+ 2 other awards
Brazilia Festival of
Brazilian Cinema
APCA Trophy—Best Actress
São Paulo Association
of Art Critics Awards
"A superbly sensual character study of a young woman navigating emotional and professional crossroads"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"[Hermila] Guedes's complex performance leaves no doubt regarding the fragility of Veronica's psyche"
  —Village Voice
"As a portrait of emotional stasis, Verônica is at once specific and universal, with [filmmaker Marcelo] Gomes sticking close to his protagonist in order to get under her skin and Guedes delivering a beautifully shaded performance"
3 stars½ "Thoughtful as well as sensual, particular yet universal, it is the kind of expertly made examination of the human condition we can never have too many of"
  —Chicago Tribune

Fresh out of medical school, Verônica seems to have a golden future ahead of her as she is ready for personal challenges and having a great time with her girlfriends. But being on the verge of adulthood only makes her aware that life is filled with doubts and uncertainties. While working as a doctor at the psychiatric department of a crowded public hospital, she discovers that many of the incoming patients are suffering from unexplained psychosomatic maladies or physical manifestations of melancholy, which are explained away as "that's just life."

Burdened with an elderly father in deteriorating health and a bad personal relationship, she turns to bodily pleasures as a way of avoiding her fears. Spiraling into an existential crisis, Verônica takes to speaking into a handheld tape recorder she once used as a diagnostic study aid, systematically documenting her feelings and finds herself scared about what lies ahead like everyone else.

Once Upon a Time, Verônica, a thoroughly modern anti-fairy tale, is a portrait of a young woman who is struggling with an identity crisis, in this psychologically complex character study which deals with the big questions we all face as human beings.

Directed by Marcelo Gomes, Brazil, 2012, 91 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Dec. 12 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Dec. 13 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Dec. 14 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Dec. 15–18 at 7 & 9 pm
Order tickets


$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation