Aquarius is the second feature film by Kleber Mendonça Filho, film critic-turned director from the northeastern city of Recife whose feature debut O som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds) was received with huge critical acclaim in 2012. With five-star reviews in Brazil’s main broadsheets, Aquarius was described in the foreign press as “tremendous” (Collin 2017), “marvellous (Scott 2016), “remarkable” (Kermode 2017) in what was a consensually positive reaction when compared to the other high-profile critical hits of the twenty-first century, Cidade de Deus (City of God, Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002) and Tropa de elite (Elite Squad, José Padilha, 2007). With an impressive trajectory through the international film festival circuit (Cannes official competition and prizes in Sydney, Mar del Plata, Havana and Cartagena), Aquarius also marked the return to form (and a strong role) for veteran film and TV actress Sônia Braga, a fact equally celebrated in most reviews of the film. Aquarius also proved its commercial worth by being snapped up by Netflix (worldwide except Brazil) shortly after its appearance at Cannes.